What should be the sentence then if fast track courts come?

The 23 year old bus rape victim is in extreme pain, and on ventilator and still very, very critical. She had regained consciousness for a while and conveyed to  her parents – who are by her side, that she was in pain. ‘The doctors at Safdarjung hospital say they have never come across a patient with such horrific injuries.’ [Read more at: Link]

One of the rapists claims he lost control because the rape victim was fighting back.

Delhi gang rape case: Main accused went berserk after victim bit him

Ram Singh, 33, the prime accused in Sunday’s gang rape, is a volatile man, known among friends as “Mental,” … he lost control

“When she resisted and bit his hand, he says, he got very angry. Alcohol and the victims’ defiance, made him go berserk. He picked up a rod and hit the two everywhere. His accomplices followed suit,”…

“Initially, he denied everything. But when he began to open up, he chose to divulge each detail, with no repentance… He tried to destroy evidence by washing the bus with confidence and told his accomplices to not worry, and lie low for some time.

…Ram Singh decided to strip the victims completely before throwing them out of the bus to leave no trace of incriminating semen or blood. He also kept their mobiles and switched them off.

If there wasn’t so much public outrage, maybe they would have successfully evaded being arrested?

Take a look at this one line in a link shared on facebook:

According to police, …several gangs … after robbing people, also rape the women so that they don’t approach police. [Link]

I agree with this article, rape is a cultural thing.

Beating them up or sending them to jail don’t work either because more than the desire or testosterone, it is the cultural ideas or social norms that they they have grown up with, which drive them. Our culture should ask them to stop. Or we have to change our culture. [Delhi rape: It’s time men started fighting for women’s rights]

1.
DSC_8320Translates to something like: Women should not be asked to change the way they live, when it’s men who are committing crimes. Like, if men get drunk and attack women, it’s men who should be barred from public spaces, pubs and from drinking.

2. DSC_8321

“My voice is louder than my clothes.”

3. DSC_8328

“My voice is higher than my skirt.”

(Pictures are captures from TV)

Another problem with focusing only on the rape victims (and what she was doing, wearing etc) is that there is no effort to understand that all men are not rapists, and those who are should not be out in public spaces, endangering innocent citizens’ and their families.

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. [From: I am Adam Lanza’s Mother]

And now,

Delhi gang-rape: Mujhe faansi de do, says accused Pawan (“Hang me.”, says one of the rapists)

Do you think capital punishment for rapes would make Indian women safer?

Rinzu Rajan asked, If not Capital Punishment, then what should be the sentence then if fast track courts come?

These are my first thoughts, would like to hear yours.

Seven years rigorous imprisonment, complete financial compensation for legal and medical expenses to the victim and family, and also fine.

When there is aslo an attempt to kill and physical torture involved then the rapists should be tried for these too (separately),

When there is cheating involved, they should be tried for that;

If there is child sexual abuse involved, they should be charged for that too;

If there is stalking, street sexual harassment etc they should be tried for that.

But each judgment should come very fast, there is no other way to put fear of consequences in such criminals.

I also feel those who make irresponsible statements blaming the victims should be fined.

The police should be instructed to keep their opinions, judgements and chauvinism to themselves, when on duty they should only do what they are being paid to do – investigate and arrest the criminals.

Prominently displayed notices explaining exactly what is to be done when a rape victim approaches the police, should be put up in EVERY chowky, even the smallest, remotest chowky, so the victim (their family and friends), criminals and the police know exactly what to expect, their rights, responsibilities and exact procedures. Media should also publicise this.

This would also mean immediate medical examination of the victim, immediate (within minutes) action to arrest or find the rapists.

Do you think capital punishment for rape would be a better deterrent? Is that what countries where women feel, and are safer are doing?

Which city in India, do you think is the safest city for women? Do women in that city stay at home after dark?

Man kills daughter for hanging out with boyfriends.

Police said the murder took place “in the heat of the moment“.

Thapa told us that a number of locals had told him about his daughter’s activities and advised him to keep her ‘under control’. He was very tense over this,” Jaiswal said.

(Does it sound like the police understands the father’s being ‘tense’? Maybe they are also ‘tense’ that a clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous?)

Delhi Police Commissioner BK Gupta has more reasons for why women should be home in time.

You can’t travel alone at 2am and then say Delhi is not safe. It would be ideal if a woman takes her brother or driver along. It’s wrong to say the Capital is not safe for women.” (Daily Bhaskar)

Bride explains how such statements harm the society.

“The suggestion that women enlist a brother or employ a male driver to escort them is not only distateful it is dangerous. It promotes the erroneous idea that women need protection from men, that a woman without a brother or a husband is exposed and vulnerable, that girl children are a big responsibility (this is what many women are told when they give birth to a girl child) and by extension a liability.

 Bhagwad explains why women have as much right to personal safety as anybody else,

“Now the commissioner might say with some justification that he doesn’t have the resources to police every single woman at night. But does this mean every single woman in the day time is safe? What’s so special about night? Moreover, he must admit to the failure of the police department if he can’t give such a guarantee. He mustn’t claim (as he did,) that the capital is safe for women. He must come out and say “We don’t have enough resources to keep most women safe at night. We need xyz funds to do this.” Either that or he must admit that he’s incompetent.

And wasn’t this 18 year old home when she was killed? Over 70% crimes against women take place inside or close to their homes, the assaulter is generally someone known to them and the crime is generally premeditated.

Also, are more women assaulted at night than during the day? Are there cities where women are safer – night or day?

What makes some cities in India safer for women? Can the safety of women be  compared to the the overall law and order situation in a city? Like Delhi has high rate of crime and it is unsafe for women too.

Bombay and Pune are safer for women. Pune has almost no street sexual harassment (Eve teasing). And Bombay locals, including the General coaches, were generally safe for women when I traveled last.

I also feel generally bigger cities allow women more freedom and Delhi does that too, but the crime rate against women is the same as the overall crime rate – very high.

Do you think conservative small towns have more, or less crimes against women? (reported or unreported)

What do you think makes some cities safer for women and some others so unsafe? Which city in India, do you think is the safest city for women? Do women in that city stay at home after dark?

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

Sometimes one crime and how it is reported tells so much about a society.

‘Five drunken young men from a nearby farming village accosted a couple…, beating the young man and gang-raping the woman. It was the latest in a series of brutal sexual assaults and gang rapes of women in India’s booming capital and its sprawling suburbs.’ (Thanks for the link RenKiss)

“The attackers often do not see their actions as crimes, the police said, and do not expect the women they attack to report them. “They have no doubt that they will get away with it,” said H. G. S. Dhaliwal, a deputy police commissioner in New Delhi who has investigated several such cases.”

We shall soon see where the attackers get so much confidence from.

Let’s believe the attackers really don’t see a gang rape as a crime, or at least not a serious crime.

How do they get this idea? This news report illustrates how. It’s a perfect example of how sexual crimes must NOT be reported.

One example,

“In each case there has been an explosive clash between the rapidly modernizing city and the embattled, conservative village culture upon which the capital increasingly encroaches.”

Why this effort to explain the rapists’ point of view?

And the facts are inaccurate. These rapes are a result of clashes of culture?
So rapists (some with previous criminal backgrounds) don’t rape women from their villages? (Click if you think they don’t.)

Going by the above logic a 6 month old or a 2 year old would be safe in these ‘sleepy villages’ with narrow lanes ‘redolent of cow dung’, since these babies are not ‘enjoying’ any unheard of freedoms, or romancing forbidden lovers?

What about when village girls looking for jobs in Delhi get raped by WagonR owners?

“India’s economy is expected to grow 9 percent this year, and its extended boom has brought sweeping social change. The number of women in the workforce has roughly doubled in the past 15 years.”

Can’t really blame the rapists, can we? How are they expected to adjust to ‘sweeping social changes’ and women doubling in workforce?

So women who stay inside their homes and whose lives signify no social changes are safer?

More facts.

A 60 year old, raped by her husband’s employer in her house (this rapist was earlier acquitted in a rape case), another 77 year old raped by a rikshaw puller, an 8 year old in her house, a 12 year old by her driver, 17 year old daughter of a Grade IV employee in Lady Hardinge Hospital, a 9 year old in Sarojini Nagar in her house, a 3 year old

[All examples are from Delhi]

The victims are almost invariably young, educated working women who are enjoying freedom unknown even a decade ago. The accused are almost always young high school dropouts from surrounding villages, where women who work outside the home are often seen as lacking in virtue and therefore deserving of harassment and even rape.”

Examples above show this is not true.

FACT.

Who gets raped?

Everyone. According to some statistics, only one in 69 rape cases in India are even reported. Only 20 % of those reported result in convictions for the rape accused.

Rapes happen across the social strata in India. In the Indian villages, it is the poor villager’s wife or sister or daughter who gets raped by another poor rowdy villager, and everyone from the local thanedar to the landlord. These rapes, unless the news becomes public due to unavoidable reasons, are never reported. It is reported in the newspapers or reaches the police only when a rape becomes part of a larger caste battle, family feud or political game. [Click to read and save the entire, very well written  article.]

“Seema Chowdhury, 20, the sister of one of the accused men, graduated from high school. But when she tried to enroll in college to become a teacher, her brothers refused to allow it. Young women who wander too far face many dangers, they argued.

“I wanted to do something in my life,” she said. “But they thought it was not a good idea.”

It’s so nice to see they are family men and want to see their sisters safe from men like themselves. Maybe such nice men can’t really be blamed for doing something they don’t see as a crime?

In comparison, the young woman who was raped here had unimaginable freedom. She had a job as an accountant at a garment factory and her own cellphone and e-mail account. Using those, she carried on a secret romance with a young man she met online despite the fact that her parents had arranged for her to be married to someone else, according to the police.”

Rape justification continues, so does victim blaming. The girl was asking for it by being in the wrong place, in wrong company, at a wrong time and doing the wrong thing – basically breaking all the rules these nice rapists lay down for their own nice and hence safe sister. Also note, the notorious cell phone and the internet being used to carry on a  ‘romance’ when her nice parents have arranged a nice match for her elsewhere. Maybe she asked for it?

If she was a Swiss Diplomat, working with full permission of her parents, not meeting her secret lover, she would have been safer?

When they picked up Tony …he was still drunk, Mr. Singh said.

“He was so shameless he narrated the whole thing without any sense of remorse,” he said. Tony later denied that he had raped the woman, according to the police report.

Tony had apparently assumed that the rape victim would not come forward because the shame would be too great.

Why don’t the victims feel more angry than ashamed?

This newly-wed’s rapists were also given a subtle benefit of rape justification’ because she probably opened the door and offered a glass of juice to her rapist and murderer. Did she know the rapist? That might justify the rape?

It has become a strategy to talk about a victim’s ‘shame’ instead of pointing out the rate of conviction, as reason for women not reporting.

If a victim was assured support instead of blame, do you think she would not have complained?

“on Feb. 5 a young man came into police station to report that his cellphone and laptop had been stolen. When the young man claimed they had been snatched near some isolated farmland at the edge of the city, Mr. Singh became suspicious: it was an unlikely place for a robbery.

He pressed for details, and eventually the young man admitted taking his girlfriend to the secluded area so they could be alone, and that five men had beaten him and raped her.”

Why didn’t the man want to say anything about the rape? He too had little faith in the police, and, he knew a couple being alone in a secluded spot would be seen as a bigger crime than a gang rape.

“I realized from the beginning that the girl would not help us,” the police said.

“The police will not be able to restore my honor.”

Is it really about honor?

Why don’t women report rapes to the police?

We all have heard about shame and honor etc. But there’s more.

Police. Police is the reason.

Have you ever taken a good look at the average Indian policeman? have you ever been to a police station?

A police station is an intimidating place. The cultural sophistication of the average policeman in India is pretty much that of the average roadside thug. Your average policeman hardly knows how to talk politely, is barely educated, is uncouth, brash and rude.

Is this the paragon of sensitivity a victim of rape will run to?

Add to this the rising number of custodial rapes which every one knows about. People will turn to a policeman only when they are desperate. Educated, rich people are abused by the police in India routinely and they have to call upon their networks and call upon little netas to get the policemen to treat them with some consideration.

Expect a policeman to humiliate a rape victim, turn her back, discourage her, be foul-mouthed or maybe rape her in turn.” [Click to read the article]

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Such reporting tells a rapist that when his mother claims, “If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes.” someone looking to justify rape will promptly quote her with some satisfaction.

What else do we say that gives rapists so much confidence?

Related posts:

The rapists are listening gratefully.

If he were a a woman he would have filed a case against a man everyday.

Updated:

Another example of Victim Blaming by New York Times:
Victim-blaming in the New York Times’ Cleveland gang rape article.

(Thank You Ankita Prasad)