29 December, 2012 5:50pm EST, By Sunny Batra
There is a growing sense of insecurity, especially among women, after the shocking gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student – who died early Saturday in a Singapore hospital – by six monsters in a moving bus in Delhi. And this shameful act coupled with the government’s apparent lack of concern with rising cases of crime against women has triggered a nationwide outrage.
What’s the solution? Strict punishment for these rapists, having stricter laws, more police patrols, more transparency in the justice system, self defense courses for women, teaching respect for women-hood to kids in schools, better parenting, and more public awareness could be part of the solution. Will it fix the problem in a country where rape takes place every 20 minutes?
Death penalty and castration is not a solution. While the nation debates whether rapists deserve death or castration, life term or their extrication from the society, it should also be discussed if these measures will have any impact on the psyche of the criminal mind. Instituting the death penalty for rape could be dangerous. If rape is punishable by death, perpetrators have no reason to leave their victims alive, especially if they are able to identify them. Making rape punishable by death won’t deter rapists; it will encourage them to escalate to murder.
One has to understand the psyche of these rapists. Who these people are doing the sinful, why do they do it, what’s their age group?
For some rapists, it’s about power, abuse and domination, and for others it’s about fulfillment of sexual urge. Most of these rapists have one thing in common that they can get away with their sinful deeds; some do and some don’t.
“Demographics also play a role, with half of India’s population under 25 and female infanticide and the neglect of girls creating a growing gender imbalance” Gardiner Harris of the Times wrote.
India has over 120 million Internet users – Twitter has about 16 million and Facebook over 60 million – but this is still just one-tenth of the population. As 3G penetration increases, data becomes accessible on more feature phones with over 500 million smart phone users. In a country where sex was once Taboo and still is in many areas, the new generation has access to all the information (including the ones of sexual nature) on their smart phones & computers, rated movies are easily available, sex is portrayed in soap operas, commercials, and movies all can easily entice someone who might have never experienced it to experience it. But how? Getting married or getting into a relationship would solve this issue but not everyone would be willing to entertain this as a solution as everyone now days are tuned to easy fixes. Rape should not be the solution? Lawmakers and the law enforcement agencies have to answer this question in order to come up with better laws to make the country safe for the women.
The days and months to come will no doubt witness some enhanced safety protocols to protect women, particularly at night — but whether that translates into long-term change in a country where rape takes place every 20 minutes is far from certain. After all, safety is a loaded word. What women in India need is freedom without fear, and that can only come when they feel that the government and its institutions are with them all the way.
What’s done cannot be undone however, one can only move forward in improving things. It is very unfortunate that it took a sacrifice of a 23 year old girl’s life to open the eyes of the public, law enforcement agencies and the government. People are more aware and want a change, not only for themselves, but also for their mothers and sisters. The hunger and fight for change has just begun and I hope it does not die in the coming weeks and months.
According to rape-crisis advocates in Sweden, one-third of Swedish women have been sexually assaulted by the time they leave their teens. Here is the link http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects-by-naomi-wolf
According to Sexual Assault Statistics United States, Nation wide 1 out of every 3 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Every 2.5 minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. The United States has the world’s highest rape rates of all countries that publish such statistics. The U.S. rape rate is 4 times higher than Germany, 13 times higher than England and 20 times higher than Japan. Here is the link http://www.crisisinterventioncenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67:sa-statistics&catid=37:sexual-assault&Itemid=77
How can we end this world wide abuse against women?