Shalini Singh and the Nordstan shopping centre where she was sexually harassed.
Shalini Singh and the Nordstan shopping centre where she was sexually harassed. Credit: Thomas Johansson/TT and private.

#metoo campaign helps immigrant women talk about harassment in Sweden

3:41 min

Shalini Singh, 33, didn't expect to be hit by sexual harassment in Sweden after moving from India with her husband. But last year it happened.

She says the #metoo campaign is helping Indian women she knows in Sweden share their experiences.

Singh was walking outside the Nordstan shopping centre in Gothenburg, when she and a friend, who also comes from outside Sweden, were verbally abused by a gang of men. 

"I was coming out from the seminar and then I got some weird comment. It was really embarrassing, and there was one more girl with me and we both were shocked," she said.

"It was very much surprising for me. I did not expect that in Sweden." 

A group of young men in their mid-to-late-20s at first insulted her and her friend, using foul language she is unwilling to repeat, and then asked them to come home with them to spend the night. 

Singh says that the the experience has made her feel unsafe on the streets. 

"It is scary. Now I don't feel safe any more travelling after 8pm or 9pm," she said. 

She says that this month's international campaign on social media encouraging women to describe their experiences of sexual harassment on social media along with the hashtag #metoo has helped Indian women she knows in Sweden to share their experiences.

"Indian friends, we never talk about it," she said. "And now I have seen they are also posting on Facebook that hashtag #metoo. I am feeling very relaxed and happy with this awareness."

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