The subject of this post is more sombre than usual and is prompted by recent acts of violence against women which have outraged many in India and caused a media frenzy.
First, I was shocked and upset by an incident that happened in Bangalore a few weeks ago. A woman was in her car, waiting at a stoplight, when she was rear-ended by a motorcycle. When she got out of her car to inspect the damage, she was verbally abused by the motorist who caused the accident. He was then joined by a crowd of men who joined in in taunting her, verbally and physically. When she tried to get help from a police officer, he made no effort to help her and even physically assaulted her. Despite filing an official complaint against the officer, he was back at work the next day. To add insult to injury, the police later declared that the incident was all her fault!
Then there was the horrific incident this week which happened in Delhi where a woman was gang raped and beaten in a moving bus. The male friend she was with was also beaten up, before both were thrown out of the bus onto the road. The whole country is up in arms, with demonstrations happening across India and people expressing their outrage at the horrendous violence which is perpetrated against women on a daily basis.
This incident got a lot of media attention but there are stories of rape every day in the paper, and often the victims are children.
This week I also read about a schoolgirl’s ordeal to seek justice which took her 6 YEARS. She had been sexually assaulted by her teacher and what was the sentence he was given? 2 years of imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 rupees. That’s the conviction a teacher gets for sexually abusing a minor?
No wonder women don’t try to go the police for help when they’re being hassled by men. No wonder they don’t bother reporting rape to the police. No wonder they don’t try to seek justice.
Something is seriously wrong.