Though the willingness to report a rape case has increased in present time, yet a rape victim has to face many unbearable steps, starting right with the medical examinations followed by the rigorous investigation by the police. She suffers in every stage - multidimensional persecution for getting justice, at the home front she is left emotionally disturbed after being isolated from the family members and friends, the society as a whole too alienates the victim instead of understanding her traumatic condition. Not only this, the victim is often harassed by the police, medical staff or others. Every day on an average around 106 women are raped in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, every year the number of rape cases increase; the reported number of rape cases in 2012 was 24923, it went up to 33707 in 2013. NCRB details further show that in 2013, a total number of 1636 cases were reported in Delhi and 4335 in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Rajasthan with 3,285 cases, Maharashtra with 3,063 and Uttar Pradesh with 3,050 rape cases. This data is exclusive of unreported cases.
There are many unreported cases too where the girl and her family prefer to stay quiet so as to safeguard the family’s name and respect. Their fear is related to the marriage of the girl as our society denies accepting a rape victim as a part of their family. This society considers a rape victim more responsible than the perpetrator. The society has a predesigned code of living for women which includes dress modesty, behavioral norms and the timings for visiting places. We live in a society where blaming women for rape is a norm as men believe and blame a certain kind of dress, going out late or visiting discos responsible for rape.
This attitude is not limited to the uneducated class but some of the highly educated and prominently placed men also nurture similar kind of thoughts. Recently, a professor from Kerala claimed that girls wearing jeans would give birth to transgender children. An honourable political leader of our country said ants will swarm the place where the sugar is. Another remark by one of the prominent Hindu social organization leader, “Such incidents happen due to the effect of the western culture and women wearing less clothes.” There is one more comment told to the reporters if a girl is dressed decently, no boy will look at her in the wrong way. These are only examples revealing the mentality of the Indian society, a society that traditionally considers women as goddesses but suddenly changes its views whenever a woman is victimized.
Such behavioural code of conducts and the ideals of dress modesty can’t be applied upon the innocent children of Kathua victim’s age. She was only an innocent child; unaware of the dress code or religious norms; religion was not so prominent for her. She might be having as many Hindu friends as she had Muslim friends; but some religious fanatics punished her for being a Muslim. The act was done in the name of religion, within the premises of a temple. While the country was still struggling to come to terms with this barbaric case, another horrific crime is reported in Surat, Gujarat, where an eleven year old girl’s body was found with 86 injuries, including in her private parts. These cases have shocked the country.
These are a few cases only, every year there are around thousands of rape cases against the children. The NCRB records show that the cases of child rape have increased since 2016; more than 7200 minors out of 100,000 were raped in that year. The NCRB data illustrate that only 6% of the crimes against children are reported with the police. In 2016 only, a total of 1,06,958 cases of crimes against children were reported across the country, wherein Madhya Pradesh recorded highest number of 2,467 child rape cases, Maharashtra 2,292 and Uttar Pradesh 2,115.
If we see some of the capital cities of our country, the National Crime Records Bureau records that Delhi recorded 8139 child rape cases, Mumbai 1456, Bangaluru 1063 and Lucknow being the sixth on the list with 146 child rape cases in the year 2016. These numbers are shockingly increasing.
Year Cases Reported against Child Rape
These are not only numbers, these are small girls molested on the name of Lust, Rivalry, Religion and to show the power of Manhood. Most of the Indian men are brought up in a way that they develop no empathy for the women or even small girls; instead they treat them as an object which they can use the way they want. The patriarchal system encourages them to suppress the second sex and consider sexual assault as their victory on them. In most of the rape cases, the assailant has a demonic desire to teach a lesson to the victim or her family. Most of the men sexually molest women because it is an easier method to subjugate and conquer them; furthermore they consider it a manly act to sexually assault a woman.
The studies clearly reveal that education single handedly can’t change the thinking process, and to bring a change we should sensitize people. Cultural and traditional values should be inculcated among the boys too. When we teach a girl about the code of conduct and dress modesty, boys should also be simultaneously taught to respect the opposite sex. Women are not the only one accountable for protecting the family tradition and values but the boys are equally responsible too. This sensitization should start from the very childhood, at the homes, where the boys should be instructed to consider the girls one like them rather than an object. They should be taught to protect the girls rather than hurt them. To subjugate and torture someone can never be a manly act rather it makes them inhumane and such inhumanly act deserves capital punishment.
Written by Dr. Sadaf Fareed
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