'Now, men more wary of women colleagues'

'Now, men more wary of women colleagues'


Close to 80% of respondents of a study say fear of losing career, family reputation, social stigma, and skepticism could be reasons why #MeToo victims do not report cases early. 

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, nearly 80% of men have now become overly cautious in their interactions with women colleagues, a study across Bengaluru and four other metros nationwide has found.

Conducted by market research and analysis firm Velocity MR, the study was based on interactions with 2,569 respondents in the city, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. The objective was clear: To understand the concerns and viewpoints of urban Indians on the #MeToo campaign.

Why do #MeToo victims not report the cases early? For close to 80% of the respondents, it was the fear of losing their careers, family reputation, social stigma and scepticism.

A high 71% of the respondents were clear that #MeToo is prevalent at homes as well. A majority of these victims do not talk about or report these incidents. However, 83% of the respondents felt that there were also cases of false allegations.

So, what is the way out? Seven out of every 10 respondents had this solution: Encourage the affected women to be independent. This could be a possible way to make them break their silence about the abuse. As many as 58% of the female respondents suggested the support of non-government organisations (NGOs) to help the #MeToo victims at homes.

Indicating the extent of women's vulnerability, one of every two respondents felt that working or not, all women are equally vulnerable to abuse. But four out of 10 were clear that working women are the prime victims of #MeToo. Six out of 10 respondents believed that mental/emotional pressure from seniors was a major factor.

About half of the respondents disapproved the victims reporting the abuse later, while two out of five males felt the victims were right in their decision.

The study found that although the majority of #MeToo cases are coming up from the media and Bollywood industries, 77% of the respondents are clear that other industries too are not safe.

The act and attitude of abuse cuts across the socio-economic strata. This came through strongly when seven out of 10 respondents said the abusers are not powerful men alone. The system has been so compromised that even after reporting a case, the #MeToo victim face threats.

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