Wanted: A world fit for… victims.

“We seem to have come a long way from the 1979 case of 16-year-old Mathura, who was raped by two policemen within a police compound, when the court acquitted the policemen on the grounds that Mathura had eloped with her boyfriend and “was habituated to sexual intercourse” says Gurchran Das in today’s Times of India.

I agree with  him. The conviction of the rapist in the Dhaula Kuan (Delhi) gang rape is good news.

The ‘court admonished the defence for maligning the victim’, saying the private life of the victim has nothing to do with with the case.

It cannot be said that a lady, who has already lost her virginity, is an unreliable person,” the court said, rejecting the plea that the victim had sexual relations with others before the incident.

(‘The victim was abducted on May 8, 2005 when she was walking back home after buying food from a roadside eatery along with a friend and was raped by four accused in a car near Dhaula Kuan in South Delhi here.’) [Link]

Seeing how we treat the victims ever wonder what happens to Sex Workers in such cases?  Do read this short story by Pawan.

Amrutha shared this eye opening video on twitter – ‘ Sunitha Krishnan’s fight against sex slavery‘. The description reads, “Sunitha Krishnan has dedicated her life to rescuing women and children from sex slavery, a multimilion-dollar global market. In this courageous talk, she tells three powerful stories.”

And she asks, “Can you break your culture of silence, can you speak to at least two persons about this story..?


42 thoughts on “Wanted: A world fit for… victims.

  1. the politicians have a hand in commerical trafficking. their henchmen are the key figures. it is a chain. it is a nexus. we know who these figures are , but we don’t have evidence . there are many organizations that work for the victims , but how many do we have in catching the people who create the victims the legal system of india has failed to the extent that they do not want to do a study and pick up the pieces of the puzzle or put laws in place. …oh they know.



    • Hi. You’re right, there is a huge nexus which makes addressing the issue of human trafficking very difficult. It is the world’s third largest organised crime, after arms and drug trafficking. So you can imagine what is the extent of power that backs this trade. But I am not clear what you mean by: “there are many organizations that work for the victims , but how many do we have in catching the people who create the victims the legal system of india has failed to the extent that they do not want to do a study and pick up the pieces of the puzzle or put laws in place. …oh they know.”

      India has been put on the the Tier 2 watchlist by the U.S. Trafficking in Persons report. And the government has been advised that if they do not take comprehensive measures to address human trafficking, it could mean economic sanctions. And GoI certainly doesnt want that!

      Please be assured that efforts are being made and work is being done to PREVENT, PROTECT and PROSECUTE as key strategies. And these are being done by the joining of hands between judiciary, police and voluntary sector (like Sunitha). You can check this link: http://aasara.blogspot.com/2005/08/project-aasara_25.html to get a glimpse. There is also a huge move to create sensitise and educate the judiciary and police on how to respond to victims.

      Naturally we would say that “enough is not being done” – given the magnitude of the problem, it is correct to say so. There are deep rooted societal issues of poverty and development which cause trafficking and prostitution. But the ray of light is that there is a movement in the right direction.


  2. I saw the Sunitha Krishnan video just the other day, and it is a brave brave fight by the lady against all odds… kudos!

    Sometimes you don’t wanna think about whats going on in our neighbourhood, especially when it comes to the lives of these unfortunate women. There are voices like that of Sunitha, Ajitha and all but still the soceity finds it too dodgy a territory to trod into. Flesh trade is a bulti-billion dollar affair now; though classified as a ‘necessary evil’ by the Sociologists it has now started to infiltrate all the sections of society. That’s what I find frightening…

    Its good that you’ve chosen to post this article, instead of the two-three persons this will help her voice reach thousands. I’m linking up your post down there in my blog, Sunitha’s voice is something which needs 20k W amplification.


  3. I read about her in another blog too… This is her blog..


    Human trafficking is most prevalent in third world countries.I used to volunteer in a DV team before and have heard some really horrible stories of trafficking.. A real shame and if the law doesn’t protect you, what will??

    If you notice, it is always people who have been affected in some way ( distant or personal), one who realize the perils that are more strong and have the zeal to fight for it. A brave woman and I salute everybody like her.


  4. There is no end to negativity in this world. Focussing on negativity is the core of Communist strategy. This is how they came to power. But their own human rights record turned out to be abysmal. 50 million people were murdered to further the cause of communism. We all know about Gulags and labor camps. The “Victim Identity” did not help them and they were chased out of Soviet Union and other communist countries.


  5. I am traumatized and still in a state of shock after viewing this video. What type of animal can do this to children……babies in the third, fourth and fifth year out of their mother’s womb. What makes men do this to these babies? What makes mothers and fathers sell their babies to these people. How can any member of society remain silent after seeing and listening to this? Are there any perpetrators/facilitators amongst us? Who are we? What have we become? The silent majority? These children and women did not choose their fate. What can I do to help? How can I help? I will send this to my friends. This is another unspoken crime against women. This has shaken/awaken me up IHM and I hope that we who live in the West start investigating and fighting these atrocities that are occurring in our own backyard.


    • I meant the video is a good eye opener..I mean yes we know that these things exist but when you see them closely then you realize what’s happening in this mighty world.


  6. I am speechless. Feeling a gamut of emotions from anger at men to sadness at human nature. I just typed an email spreading awareness about her organization and her talk and sent to almost everyone on my list.


  7. IHM : thanks for sharing this and spreading the awareness..

    I read a book AIDS sutra and there I was equally shocked at whats Happening around us … I have already shared this video to all I could .. All of us who can bring out some awareness , change in any small way should try to help the victims and to stop the crime .

    I wont blame a mother dying if AIDS to sell her kid , what options does she has , but I’ll blame a mock spectator who will not stop and help such children , or anything thats a litle suspicious when they can .


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  9. Though Policing , corruption will remain a problem factor I do think things will improve with licensed regulation and legalisation of trade. In a recent remark Hon. Supreme Court mentioned that world’s oldest profession has survived all social taboo and restrictions and the best way to control and monitor will be to legalize the trade .
    This way (if Police works as expected ) issue of minors , hostage workers and AIDS can be brought under closer legal scanner.


  10. It is so illogical and immoral to think that a non-virgin deserves to be raped or is asking to be raped that I cannot understand why anyone ever thinks like this.


  11. /*“It cannot be said that a lady, who has already lost her virginity, is an unreliable person,” the court said,*/

    atrocious… what kind of intellectuals we have as judges,….

    yet to see the video… I am checking ways to download it…


  12. I didnt know about the 79 case! Hard to believe that the judge gave that ruling! Even though we have come a long way,I dont think the sex workers will get a fair day in court in such a case! They will probably say its a hazard of the job or something.


  13. one of the things that scares me about sex slavery is how easily many of us (men) participate. i am NOT talking of ‘sleazy’ types or ‘losers’ or ‘perverts’. completely ‘normal’ men, probably your neighbour or friend, even the nice boy down the road. until that stops…


  14. “… rejecting the plea that the victim had sexual relations with others before the incident …” I am apalled such a plea was even thought of, much less made and presented in court! I don’t know what to say about anyone who can think this way!

    As for the Dhaula Kuan convict, he has been pleading for mercy on the grounds that his parents are old and he needs to care for them! Right, as if that excuses him from anything he does in life. Cool, let us all with old parents go out and loot, rape, plunder the world.

    Watched “Paa” with my Ma yesterday. Am writing a post on it soon!


  15. If the ‘non-virgins’ (a strange term, considering most good Indian married women would fall in this category) are unreliable and easy rape targets, can someone please tell me why girls as young as three are raped? Why are girls in their early teens raped?

    It all comes down to the man’s belief that he can get away with it.

    And this ‘character’ argument should be legally disallowed…I had done a post on this after the TISS incident, if you remember.

    Quirky Indian


  16. OMG !!!! I couldn’t even listen to Sunitha fully, tears are rolling on my cheek and I am shocked to see the pics of brutal physical abuse. OMG !!! IHM !!! My heart goes out to them.

    It is indeed a sad state, we are in – where we dont even think about the young girls, who have been raped. I dont think any girl will be party to it, willingly. Then, why dont we help her come out of the internal trauma she is undergoing ??? Why do single her out, in this society ?????

    Oh !!! Those 3 small children – My God !!! Are they men or animals ????

    But, my kudos to Sunitha, for the brave effort and the wonderful work she is doing. Thanks for introducing me to someone like Sunitha.


  17. IHM I was so happy when I saw that the court admonished defence for saying vile things about the victim;s character.
    She is characterless is a common usage for women who are so-called free, and do what they want to do. And this characterlessness is often used as a reason to explain away bad behavior. I am glad we are slowly moving away from that.


  18. IHM I believe that we allow ourselves to get so callous as to require evidence of such excessive brutality to wake us up or shake us, because we tend to grow up compartmentalizing “us ” vs “them”. It is always “those women” “those people” to whom these horrors happen. This otherizing helps to distance us from it, and rarely do we think that “but for chance, here go I.Once we take on the pain of every person as our personal pain, will we be able to make a difference. Till then we can go on and get horror struck by all the brutality we see, but not do much to change it. I am not talking of leading a crusade, but of changing the way we perceive what goes on- of looking on “others” as our own selves. Of becoming more vocal in instances where we are silently enabling a crime to take place, of voting with our minds, of lending vocal support- all these are things we can do. If we do not think “it happens to them, not me”.


  19. Good Post IHM and thank you for the video, Have treated a few victims of trafficking and taken clases abt HIV to CSWs. Have some idea about the problems they face from the society. As Sunita points out we should all first treat them as fellow human beings who were victims and try not to further victimise them.


  20. Great post IHM pointing out the truth about victims seen fit for more abuse. Somehow victims are held responsible for their suffering and hence considered apt or open to more sufferings. How unfair is that.


  21. Sometimes I wonder,if at all women are humans! Leave aside women. I have a 7 year old son and now i realize, its such a bad world, I have to worry and keep him alerted about unnatural behaviour by adults, just as parents of girls have to do!


  22. I had seen this video earlier, forwarded by somebody else, and it broke my heart to hear her. The saddest thing is for a society to blame the victim. It is so sad to hear what she says, that the biggest challenge she faces is from the civil society – the way we react to the victims. As she says, we can make a difference, if we start empathizing with the victims, at the very least.

    Sunitha Krishnan must be one of the bravest women around. To take up such a challenge and not give give up despite everything that has come her way – must take so much strength of character!


  23. What Sunitha said about “We are living among those men….”. That is the worst part i think. That it is considered ok and even normal. Society turns a blind eye to this because after all “boys will be boys”, right? It doesn’t just happen to women or girls though, boys are also victims of exploitation. And even when there are raids or arrests, the exploiters get off scot-free while the exploited pay the price yet again.

    I like the quiet dignity with which Sunita has. Kudos to her. Another one of our unsung heroes.


  24. Hi IHM – I know Sunita personally and have done a program for some of the girls her organization rescues. While I agree with everything she says here, I’m a not a little upset that she has chosen to show images of the children raped. I think it’s another violation of human rights to ‘expose’ these children to the world with their pictures. She could have shared these stories without the pictures. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get carried away trying to fight for the larger good and inadvertently causing harm to the individual – in this case the three girls.
    Wonder whether you’d agree?

    Me – Corinne maybe she felt if she showed real children viewers will relate to it better. She also talks about being gang raped at 15 herself… I feel we should take the victim’s shame out of this horrendous crime. It will take ages, I know… but it would be good if a victim could talk about molestation and rape without feeling they invited it – it’s the perpetrator who should feel shame – not the victim… just thinking aloud Corinne. After reading what the Goa minister said one wonders if this will ever happen…


  25. this is so shocking…i could not stop thinking about this from the day I read it…and it disturbed me for days….i just could not come here and not think of the justice deprived Mathura.
    rape itself is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. How then can someone argue for or grant in favor of the accused by proclaiming habit as a reason. it makes me question the intelligence, moral and basic common sense of educated judges and advocates. but then the law itself has so many loopholes..especially in Indian and especially in those times. thankfully we’ve moved ahead even if it is baby steps.


  26. Pingback: “I can’t believe you are saying this! You are saying rapists should not be hanged?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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