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From Raped and Shamed to Raped and Killed

From Raped and Shamed to Raped and Killed

By Harshita

From “Raped and Shamed” to “Raped and Killed”
“You were raped – it’s your fault.”
“Why did you wear that?”
“Why did you go there?”…
If I start writing the excuses society gives to justify rape, I will run out of space. We have heard these so
many times- from our near and dear ones, from society, from media, politicians etc. that we have
desensitised ourselves. It’s a one day headline forgotten by next sunrise. It’s hard to digest that even in
our so called “modernised woke era”, women are still blamed for being raped.
Remember the days when molestation was shushed and pushed under the rug by the parents of the girl
for the fear of shame, the days when the girl was hidden away from everyone’s eyes while the culprit
roamed around freely, when the girl was hurriedly married off; sometimes to her rapist, in order to
avoid the news of rape from leaking out? Women were forced into silence then but now when the
women are finally out on streets screaming “Enough is Enough!” one would expect things to get a little
better. It’s astonishing to see the exact opposite happening. In today’s date, rape not only comes with
humiliation and stigma, it also comes with the fear of life. The rapists are turning fearless, they have not
stopped their heinous activities but have advanced a stage further in their inhumanity- killing or
mutilating the girl after the act. We all have noticed this, have we not? What are we doing about it other
than locking up our little girls more and more?
I fail to understand- what part of a woman raising her voice against the forced violation of her body
drives the rapists to mutilate and kill her rather than being afraid of consequences? Is it because the
recent times have proved to them that there aren’t going to be any consequences? On one hand, we see
the fighting spirit of the women spilling on to the streets for justice, we see public standing with the
survivor shoulder to shoulder questioning the government while on the other hand, we also see people
rallying in support of the rapist, bending the law boastfully and helping out the criminals, the justice
machinery going after the survivor’s family. At what point did we lose the virtue of humaneness?
Even after so many years of endless rape cases, the mind-set of our society hasn’t changed. Rapes are
not getting frequent, they have always been frequent but they are getting reported more. We have
heard of brutal rapes of women in the historical incidents but now, it has become an everyday
occurrence. According to the reports, India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily in 2019 and
overall 4,05,861 cases of crime against women during the year. This resulted in an overall rise of cases
over 7% as compared with the year 2018. According to the NCRB data, there are 88 rape cases a day in
2020 which ought to be a shock for every individual. India experiences One Rape Every 16 Minutes. The
figures are disturbing in itself and we still wonder why women don’t feel safe anymore.
Another common occurrence is the perpetration of gang rape. So now, it’s not just one individual but a
group of them have banded together to commit such a heinous crime then kill, burn or drown the body
in as brutal way as possible. There are so many cases broadcasted on news channels or social media but
there are still a lot of cases which aren’t even spoken of. According to the reports, we are aware of only
10% of the total rape cases. Most cases go unreported because the girl and her family fear humiliation
or retaliation or both. This becomes torture for the girl who has faced so much. There are times when the girl is brainwashed and is forced not to speak about her ordeal in front of anyone let aside go to the
police station and file a complaint against the criminals.
Hearing the word “rape” has become so common in our lives that we fail to comprehend its
implications. In today’s date where everyone has smartphones with access to social media the most
painful word a woman can hear is thrown around like a football. From accomplished women with a
voice to parents of infant girls, receive rape threats. From grown up masochistic men to pre-pubescent
teens, spew the threats as if it’s the coolest trend they ought to be a part of. We need to stop and ask
ourselves- in pursuit of being at the top of the rat race, where have we, as an individual and a society
failed to incorporate basic human respect?
Rape is a non-bailable offence according to the Indian penal court but the rapists do get bail. Sometimes
it happens because of lack of evidence and most of the times, the accused is sheltered and protected by
police or politicians or even by lawyers. It doesn’t matter to the rapists whether their target is old,
married, pregnant, senile, disabled, infant, toddler, or whether she is wearing saree, burkha, skirt, jeans,
frock or if she’s Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Parsi etc. the distinction is gone for them but for media
the headlines still has to say “A Muslim Raped” or “A Dalit woman got raped” etc. It’s high time we start
saying “A woman got raped and we are very very angry.” Rapes don’t happen because of caste or
religion or clothes, they happen because of wrong parenting, wrong governance, sick mentality, and
careless and ignorant society.
I am sure that every word you read brought some or the other incident to your mind. Good! Never
forget the cries of those little girls and women! Whatever I have said is not something you haven’t heard
umpteen number of times, but that doesn’t mean I or you have to stop saying it. As you read this, turn
to your mother or sister or wife or daughter and ask yourself, will you be able to overcome your grief if
something happens to them? So KEEP SAYING, KEEP REPEATING, and KEEP MAKING NOISE until your
voice is heard beyond the limits of sky.
“SHE IS NOT A VICTIM; SHE IS A SURVIVOUR. SHE IS AN ENDURER. SHE IS A FIGHTER.”

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