Violence against women: where are the solutions?

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“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

– Mother Teresa

 The horror of rape refused to leave the nation. Every few days there are allegations of rape and worst still rape and murder. Whenever there is an incident of rape few people made a din for a few days and then it dies down. Of late the monsters of rape have decided to target minors to satisfy their sadistic urges. The whole nation wakes up from its slumber only when horrific incidents like the December 16, 2012 gang rape and brutal torture of a physiotherapy intern in a running bus occurs. On August 13 a minor was gang raped in a sugarcane crop field in West Karbi Anglong, Assam. On August 15 another minor was raped in Harayana while returning after taking part in the Independence Day celebration in her school.

On the basis of the statement given by the girl, a case has been registered by the Chandigarh Police under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides POSCO act against unknown person. A 10 year old who was repeatedly raped by her maternal uncle was also refused abortion by the Supreme Court as the minor was found to be 32 weeks pregnant and abortion is risky for the girl. She gave birth to a girl through caesarian section. The daughter of an IAS officer in Haryana was stalked and allegedly tried to be abducted by the son of the state BJP chief Subhash Barala’s son Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar. Vikas Barala and Kumar were also under the influence of alcohol. After a lot of flip-flops on the charges to be included in the FIR, the Chandigarh police eventually charged Vikas and Ashish with bailable offences, under the IPC and Motor Vehicles Act, and they were released in the evening. Both the Haryana-cadre IAS officer, and his daughter, 29, a disc jockey, uploaded an account of her “horrific” experience on their Facebook accounts. The woman said the men followed her around for nearly 30 minutes as she drove home around midnight, blocked her car repeatedly and tried to open her door. The victim was alone. She was allegedly chased for nearly 7 km before police, reacting to a call made by her, caught the two. She was lucky. On medical examination, both were reportedly found to be drunk. The woman called the Police Control Room at about 12.35 am and within 10 minutes, the accused were caught. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, answering media’s queries at a public event said the incident involved a specific individual. The IAS officer’s daughter said that she is lucky not to be the daughter of a common man. She probably understood what happens to daughters of a common man in India.

Now it is not a question of what the centre and state governments can do and should do. The increase presence of police is a temporary measure and security paraphernalia like CCTC cameras are only useful sometimes after a crime like rape has been committed. Anyway there are no CCTV cameras in a sugarcane crop field. What needs to be done is for us, the citizens of India to rise up in mass and work against the menace of rape and make our women, daughter safe from rapists. Also the society should to be taught to respect girls and women in general. When sex education is deemed necessary by intellectuals it is high time that evils of rape be included in school education as well.

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