In what is definitely welcomed news, the University Grants Commission (UGC) launched new regulations which allow male students to file cases of sexual harassment against men, women and transgender people.
The UGC recently told higher education institutes ‘act decisively against all gender based violence perpetrated against employees and students of all sexes recognising that primarily women employees and students and some male students and students of the third gender are vulnerable to many forms of sexual harassment and humiliation and exploitation’. Delving further into some of the intricate details of the regulation reveals the procedure to file complaints, here are some of the finer points –
- The victim must file a complaint with the internal complaints committee (of their university) within 3 months of the incident, notwithstanding any major illness which prevented them from doing so
- Alternately a third party can also file a complaint for the victim. This can be a family member, friend, colleague, classmate or any other associate. They can file the complaint if the victim is unable to do so due to “physical or mental incapacity or death”
- The internal complaints committee must complete their investigation within 90 days and authorities must take action 30 days after receiving this report.
- If found guilty a student will be expelled and teachers will be liable and processed according to service rules.
Now I know what you’re thinking shouldn’t this law have always been there? Well sadly the matter of men getting sexually harassed has been long overlooked, due to a number of reasons including the fact that people assume men don’t get harassed sexually. This is partly because men mostly don’t file complaints for sexual harassment out of fear of being ridiculed by society (Because apparently it’s not manly to be sexually assaulted). This law will hopefully serve as a stepping stone for removing the stigma around the issue.