Let us admit ‘Rape’ has become a new normal for us & we have failed as a society!
A 6-year-old girl was raped in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh after being abducted. The victim is in critical condition. Her private parts were badly injured. She was taken to a hospital in Meerut. Doctors said that her private parts were so badly injured that they could not perform surgery. They had to create a separate path for disposal of faecal matter by inserting a tube in her abdomen.
Five days earlier, New Delhi has shamed again with similar torture like Nirbhaya when a 12-year-old girl resisted her rapist. The horrific incident took place on Thursday in Peera Garhi region of Paschim Vihar. The girl was stabbed multiple times while being raped by the alleged rapist.
The girl is currently battling for her life at the AIIMS, New Delhi. The crime took place when the minor girl was alone at her residence. Police have arrested one accused in the case.
One 16-year-old girl was raped and attacked by a known person in the Netaji Subhash Palace (NSP) in NorthEast Delhi on Monday.
Sudiksha who got Rs 3.83 crore scholarship to study in the US died after falling off from bike in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddha Nagar. The cause of the accident is said to be because of a chase by eve-teasers while she was going to meet one of her relatives.
According to reports, the eve-teasers started performing stunts near Sudisha’s bike due to which her uncle was not able to balance the bike. While performing stunts, the eve-teasers suddenly hit the brake which Sudiksha and his uncle could not handle, resulting in Sudiksha falling from bike headlong on the road, after which she died on spot.
What stats say?
Police statistics show that as many as 636 cases of rape were registered in Delhi till June 30 in the year 2020. This figure was 298 for the same period in the year 2019. At least 813 molestation cases were lodged in New Delhi till June 30 in the year 2020, which was 1,460 in the corresponding period in 2019. Delhi continues to be the rape capital of India.
On the country level, the data says that there were 38,497 rapes in the year 2016 which mean 107 rapes every single day. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) records says that of all those rapes, 2,167 were gang rapes. That means that 6 gang rapes take place every single day. The numbers became l better in 2017 with reported rapes on a single day dropping to 92. The statistics start with the rapes of those who are under the age of 6 years. One big concern in rape cases is the conviction rate. Of the total 17,807 cases that came to trial in the year 2016, there were just 4,475 convictions. If we look at it, percentage-wise, then the conviction rate is just 25 per cent. Of the 732 gang rape cases that came to trial in the same year, 260 were convicted. Here the percentage stands at 35 per cent. Most cases never even made it to the court.
Is the situation really alarming though?
Looking at the numbers, the situation looks very alarming. But is the situation really alarming? We hear rape or sexual violence news so often these days that we have become immune to it, and it doesn’t affect us anymore. We let it go from our conscience like it is some other national, political or sports news.
The situation has become so bad that putting up a struggle against these heinous crimes seems to be futile as rape is used as an instrument to claim power and intimidate the women in India. Often, we see women getting open rape threats. Many believe that it is not surprising to see these rape numbers because we are a patriarchal, hierarchical and increasingly polarised society, where hate is used to divide people and attract votes.
Another concern is the awful sex ratio imbalance in the country. This is largely because of illegal sex-selection abortions despite tough laws. This means that we are a country full of men. India observes 112 boys born for every 100 girls. This is against the natural sex ration that is 105 boys for 100 girls. Preference for males has resulted in 63 million women statistically going “missing”. Many experts of the subject believe that such skewed ratios could be a factor in increased crimes against women.
Indian women face another problem due to the highly patriarchal and we dare to call it a dumb society that asks her to reconcile herself with the reality that you save yourself by dressing up properly and not going out unescorted.
However, what disturbs us most is the rising number of sexual crimes against children. All the three recent cases that we have discussed earlier are under 18 years of age. Crime records suggest that reported rapes of children below 18 years of age had more than doubled between 2012 and 2016.
More than 40 per cent of India’s female victims were minors. The uptick could, however, should be credited to the increased and better reporting by the media and police, and widening the definition of rape after the horrific Nirbhaya incident in 2012 in New Delhi.
Women’s groups have fought long and hard for decades to put safety measures in place through special laws. But the question remains, where is the proper monitoring and governance of juvenile homes and women’s shelters? We have special police now who checks internet crime, abuse and harassment. But are they able to protect children and women from sexual predators and harmful porn?
We have enough laws but lack implementation
India has enough laws and we do not need more laws to stop rapes. If you will look closely at the laws, you will observe that we have enough laws to protect our women but there are three main problems. The first is obviously police investigation and vigilance. The overworked police of the country neither have the time nor the training to handle all the sexual violence against women. The second problem is the criminal justice system that works at the pace of a tortoise. This enables many sexual offenders to run away from crime forever. It is between the police and the trial courts where the system breaks down. Are enough rapists going to jail? Even when they do go, it takes lots of time to put them there and they don’t serve enough time in prison.
The third problem is the elephant in the room meaning the way males are brought up in the society. We are a country which celebrates movies like Kabir Singh which shows a breach of consent. We have prepared a kind of society where if a man behaves like Neanderthals, makes sexist comments against women, stalk them and act like savages, then he is manly. It is believed that around 99 per cent of the rape cases which also involves domestic sexual violence in India go unreported. A lot of these cases are committed inside the household by the husband on the wife. If a young man grows up in a society where consent is not considered important, it is likely that he will grow up to be a man who doesn’t consider the consent of females to be important.
Women are objects and men can’t get over this!
Mostly we hear about violent gang rape stories in conflict zones or societies that have broken down. India despite being a democratic country, witnesses 6 of these in a day. And there is something that tells these young males that it is ok to gang-rape women and then murder them. This is something that many females in the country find it difficult to come to terms with. For some men, women are just objects to use and then dispose of.
Activists and NGOs working in the field have cried themselves for decades explaining that the death penalty does not stop rapists but the certainty of conviction does. Many people have advocated for town-square justice for rape which seems only an effort to satisfy their own bloodlust rather than any empathy with rape survivors. This explains why many people who shout “let the public lynch them,” “hang the rapist,” “no trials for rapists,” “hang them in public,” or “they should be stoned” feel comfortable while directing verbal brutality against women, including open rape threats at women who disagree.
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