Rape is something that is treated pretty poorly in a lot of countries. It’s something that is looked down on with shame in many cultures.
Today I want to take a look at rape in India. According to at least one source, India is on its way to becoming the rape capital of the world. I warn you that’s what up ahead is not pretty or anything like that. I’m not a fan of skipping things because they’re hard to read, but I want you to be forewarned what’s coming up.
In almost every place in the world rape goes underreported. It seems to be particularly bad in India (though at this time, I don’t have comparisons, but if I run across them, I will compare them), estimates for India are that only 1 in 69 are actually reported and that a woman is raped every hour in India.That means the number of rapes in India are much, much worse. On top of that, of the reported cases, only 20 percent of them actually get convictions. It’s sad because it means so many women are going without justice.
And it seems that little can be done. Women get pulled into cars and gang raped in the cars for 2 or 3 hours. Isn’t that horrible? It seems awful and terrifying to me. One woman was gang raped and then lit on fire.
Equally awful is that incest rape is on the rise and many experts feel these are actually the kind of rapes that happen most often in India, but like others, are underreported. Child rapes are on the rise too, as one in four of the reported rapes are girls less than 16 years old. Though these, like all others, are underreported.
Delhi is particularly bad – so much so that it is coming to be known as the Rape Capital of India, because one-quarter of all rapes in India occur there. The statistics work out to a woman being raped every 18 hours in Delhi alone. Apparently, women who migrate from the north-east are raped more and more often in Delhi as well because of underlying discrimination against them. They even tried to get these women to abide by a dress code to “prevent” these rapes.
And often times, rape damages a woman for good socially. There is so much stigma surrounding it in India that a woman often can’t get married after being raped. In fact, one person convicted of rape even used this as a reason to propose before his sentencing, hoping if she accepted her would get a lighter sentence. How twisted is that?
Other attitudes effect victims. There are often very strict ideas surrounding sex and privacy (the idea that this is a family issue and it shouldn’t go beyond that). If you get justice in court, you are often outcast from your family and society. There is also this idea that a woman shouldn’t work outside the home and that when women do this, it “makes” them a target.
Unfortunately, it seems that certain people get a free pass. After a woman said she was raped by soldiers in the army, a protest formed calling for their arrests (which didn’t happen – the government blamed it on the side they were fighting, it happened in the Kashmir area). In a separate situation, one woman committed suicide after no one took action when she was raped at a police station.
And the system is not well equipped to handle it either. The victim has to prove they were penetrated, which can be a hard thing to do. They used to do a “finger test” to see if a woman had been raped. I don’t want to get into the graphic details, but it’s traumatizing and unnecessary. Fortunately, they’re getting rid of this. They’re also getting rid of labeling what a person is wearing as attractive or not, instead choosing that they should only note whether it’s torn or not. The system tries to gather evidence, which is good, but they often forget there’s a person who has just been traumatized. They also recently cut funding meant for victims. The defense will often try to attack the victim as well. Like many places, their laws are good, but they’re not really executed well. However, they have made an effort to come down harder on child rapes.
But there are people working on it. For instance, a charity is releasing an app that sends a text message to five people, including the police, with your location, so that hopefully someone can come and stop it.
For more info, this book might be helpful
I hope you learned something interesting. I know it’s sad, but the discussion needs to be had.
- Protest Swells In Indian Kashmir Over Alleged Rape
- 1 of every 4 rapes in Indian cities takes place in Delhi
- Understanding Rape in India
- Sexual Harassment India
- Rapes Show Extent of Prejudice Against India’s North-East
- Treating victims right; changing India’s protocols on rape (Link broken as of 1/18/2016)
- Indian Woman Gang Raped and Set Alight
- Rapes of Women Show Clash Between Old and New India
- In India, An App to Fight Rape
- India to Stop ‘Finger Test’ for Rape Victims
Rape is a world-wide problem. In the US, abortion clinics cover-up statutory rape. Celebrities are not immune to rape either. That’s why we need to work so hard to change the culture of rape worldwide.