In India, women fight harassment of “Eve teasing”

BANGALORE, India, July 14, 2006 (AFP) – On the streets of this booming Indian city, Laura Neuhaus says she is constantly on guard against men who brush against her body. “People run up and grab my butt, my breast and brush against me purposely,” Neuhaus says. “It happens so fast.”

“I will be walking with my boyfriends and it makes no difference. After that I go through post-traumatic stress. You are so angry and humiliated,” she says. “There is no one to talk to.”

To help stop the practice, the 23-year-old technology executive from the United States joined Blank Noise — a group that fights “Eve teasing,” a euphemism in India for the sexual harassment or molestation of women.

According to official statistics, around 7,500 expatriates came to Bangalore for extended stays in 2005, and there are now around 15,000 foreigners working in the city, India’s technology hub.

Many of them spend much of their time in walled enclaves, safe from the streets while living in villas that often cost several hundred thousand dollars.

But a few say it is time to break out and work to make their lives and those around them better.

“Many live in expat bubbles of priva