According to National Crime Records bureau (NCRB), 93 women are being raped in India every day. But not all these rape incidents attract media’s attention. Probably once in two months one case is flared up and people protest for women safety, discuss the various factors involved, go on a candle light protest, etc. All these will happen for a month and we will remain silent until the next case comes up.
Despite several protests, a number of rape cases are being reported and the numbers keep increasing. According to NCRB data, number of rapes reported in India in 2012 is 24,923 and in 2013, it rose to 33,707. The reasons for this continuous increase are many. On the one hand, there is delay in taking up the rape cases, delay in delivering justice to the victims. Even when the cases come to the court, the victim is asked so many irrelevant abusive questions, which depress them even more. On the other hand, people start questioning the victim’s dress, the place and time where the incident occurred, etc. The victim is made responsible for the crime. Instead of supporting the woman, we continue to blame her.
Recently, a 6 year old’s rape case is being reported widely in the media, and as usual protests and discussions are going on. When asked people about this incident, they came up with the following responses.
Ms.Vidhula Subramanian, Business Analyst says ‘‘I am shocked; I wonder how an individual is able to rape a child? Regardless of the victim’s age, abuse exists. After this rape case people cannot comment on victim’s dress, and her morality. Children should be taught about good touch and bad touch’’.
Mr.Kasi Kumar, M.E student says ‘‘Strict laws should be implemented by government. At schools everything should be monitored through cctv, self-defense should be taught for girls’’.
Ms.Akshaya, IIT student says ‘‘whenever a rape case comes into media, there is a protest that will happen for few days and later everyone will get back to their routine. Even after many protests nothing is done effectively against rape. We are helpless, I feel’’.
A house-maker and a mother of 6 year old girl says “I don’t know what to do ? As everyone says, I think, laws should be made effective”.
From these reactions, we are able to understand that there is no clear idea on what actions should be taken against rape. The increasing incidents are only creating fear among people.
Ms.Varsha Vijayakumar, a school counsellor says “A school is an institution which consists of faculty, students and parents. To prevent a child from abuse everyone should be addressed. Teachers, principal, cleaners, gardeners etc, everyone’s mental health should be addressed and monitored. Teachers are not there just to teach lessons from books. Apart from that they should also teach students about several things that is happening around them. Teachers should understand children in a non-judgemental way and empathise with the students and help the student to grow up in a better way. Students should be given knowledge on emotional vocabulary according to their age group; they should be taught good touch and bad touch from an early stage. We have to talk about all these incidents to them in a non-fearful manner. More than being lovable and affectionate, parents should respect and accept the children as they are, they should never compare their children with anyone. They also should understand and support their children in both positive and negative situations. Parents should give trust and hope to the child and make a child comfortable to open up all the issues to them. Both boys and girls should be given knowledge about gender equality and we should teach them to respect each other. Apart from educating them on various issues, parents should themselves stand as role models for their children and teach them about gender equality. As in this case, paedophilia (a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children, generally age 11 years or younger) is raising up, school and parents should look into the mental health of their children instructors. ’’
We must understand that when a rape occurs, it is not the fault of the victim. In fact, every one of us in the society is responsible for this state of women. Government, judiciary, social organizations, individuals have different roles in bringing about a change in these conditions. Strict laws, effective implementation of laws, quick justice are all essential. But for all of this to happen, there must be a change in the attitude by the society towards women. And, every one of us must take continuous effort to bring about a attitudinal change.