header photo


Service in the interest of Justice

Sexual Harassment of Women in India

Sexual Harassment Complaint in India

Sexual harassment is an unwanted intrusion of a sexual nature in the personal space of an individual. Although a large number of complaints are by woman, sexual harassment is not limited to woman alone. Some studies show that every Indian woman faces some kind of sexual harassment at some point in her life. This sexual harassment can occur at workplace, a public place or even at individual’s home. Not all offensive behaviour would amount to sexual harassment only because it offends the recipient; the act must also be unjustified.


Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code 1860 defines sexual harassment as unwelcome physical contact and advances including unwanted and explicit sexual overtures, demand or request for sexual favours, showing pornography or sexual images without ones consent and making unwelcome sexual remarks.

The law provides punishment up to 3 years with fine or both. Other sections of Indian Penal Code also cover various other acts that may constitute sexual harassment namely, section 354B talks about forcing a woman to undress, section 354C talks about watching or capturing a woman without her consent ( voyeurism ), section 354D defines and gives punishment for the act of stalking.


The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) is defines child as any person below the age of 18 years and provides protection from all cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. These offences have been clearly defined for the first time in law and the act provides for stringent punishments as per the gravity of the offence.

The Sexual Harassment of Woman at Work Place ( prevention, prohibition and redressed ) Act of 2013 aims to protect all woman irrespective of age, or employment status, whether in organised or unorganised sectors and cover clients, customers and domestic workers as well. Sexual harassment is a stark reality for any men or women alike, often the crime leaves an imprint on the reality for any person to face. The problem with our nation is the fact that sexual harassment is no big deal to people.


Woman and Girls are taught to “IGNORE” the reality until it is not tolerable anymore.  The change one seeks is definitely provided through tight laws but at the same time a loose mentality where one is accepted as who they are and the fact that a crime does not change or harms a person’s integrity.

The mentality of people is slowly changing and people have the guilt lies in the act of the harasser and not the victim, the right awareness and approach by government at different levels can act as a break through.


This post is written by Anshu Sharma, an intern with LegalSeva. For any subject specific assistance or Legal Advice please call on 99888-17966 for LegalSeva.

Go Back