Crime Against Women: Who Takes Responsibility?

Posted: January 30, 2014

Crime Against Women is still at large inspite of all the talk of empowerment these days. Here the author explores the fundamental reasons for Violence Against Women in India.

 

A friend of mine expressed concern over the fact that despite the furore created after the Delhi rape case girls continue to remain unsafe and there seems no change in the mindset of those who wish to project themselves as powerful by indulging in molestation and rape. She was talking about the Women’s Day programme that the Mahila Samity, that she was affiliated to planned to conduct and Safety of Women was a theme that was doing the rounds.

She wanted to know if seminars or debates organised by them would serve the purpose – after all, haven’t we talked enough about it? Her concern was genuine. She had a niece in her early teens and the thought that the girl or for that matter all the little girls in our apartment complex risked being raped anywhere or anytime by anyone was indeed upsetting not only to her but all thinking individuals.

Say NO: Crime against women campaignSo what do we do about it? As my friend rightly pointed out, talking about it has not helped. But will it help if one did not talk about it? As such, society has remained silent for centuries and it only now that people report cases of rape and molestation even if the offender is a parent or a close relative. We now choose to openly protest against it. I, for one, believe that creating an awareness among our youngsters will help. And they need to be assured that even if they have been at the receiving end, it was not their fault and they need not feel ashamed or guilty. Participation in debates either as a speaker or as part of the audience will encourage our girls to address the issue confidently.

There is a view that there seem to be more rapes taking place after the mass protest against the December 16th incident. May be more cases are being reported and perhaps the stigmatisation and character assassination of the victim has reduced to some extent. It could also mean that men with a sadist mentality wish to show society that they are just unstoppable and will continue to subjugate women in this manner whatever be the level of protest.

In a talk show that I viewed a few days back the guest speaker did not mince his words when he said that girls ought to be trained to defend themselves. Any initiative to curb the menace of rape and molestation ought to include and emphasize the fact that while law makers police, parents, schools and social activists can condemn the act it is our girls who need to defend themselves. Though there was truth in his words I was a little disappointed and wondered if he would say the same thing if it was his daughter or sister who was the victim?

Was it not equally important to change society’s mindset that men were a superior class and were authorised to act as they pleased? Should not mothers be as proud of their daughter’s achievement as that of their sons? Should not a mother stand up for her daughter who is wronged in whatever manner? Will a girl who is trained to accept a subservient role in the family with every male member dominating her, ever become a confidant adult?

There was a furore in the steel city when a teenager reported the fact that she was continuously raped by her maternal uncle’s friend. I was disappointed that a few women activists in our town felt that the girl was not mentally sound and till date I have a lingering doubt that the offender got away not because of lack of evidence but because he belonged to a community that refuses to believe that such incidents are universal and that they are no exception.

I think it the collective responsibility of the family and society to teach men and women to have mutual respect for each other and this should begin from the time a child is born. If girls are regarded as assets and not liabilities, crime against women – not necessarily rape – will automatically come down.

Pic credit: The Say NO UNiTE campaign for ending violence against women

The Hip Grandma lives in a small industrial town called Jamshedpur and despite all its

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Comments

5 Comments


  1. It is heartening that there are open protests against rapes now and the media is condemning such crimes committed even in the remotest of village. While it is imperative that schools introduce self defense classes for young girls just like there are home science classes right now, it is also important that civil society becomes vocal about crimes against woman. The day stigmatization of victim is eradicated and transferred to the perpetrator is the day we can call ourselves truly civilized.

  2. As far as I’ve accepted that a women should be depend on itself, If a women are all depend on other then they would be try to take advantage of this and I think, If this is going on then we need not to talk about who takes responsibility?? Moreover, we should be trust on our family and share to each other what is going on or not!!

  3. Very important topic – which some are constantly thinking about, whereas many people are willing to turn a blinds’ eye.
    1. To the comment teach the girl self-defense skills – alright we shall do so to equip the girl. But may I ask something….if a man is over-powered by 5- 10 other men, do you think he will be able to come off unscathed. Forget the matrix effect that movies show, wherein the hero is in the middle, and the bad guys are thrown into various corners…we are talking about real-life situation, right?! So, when a man says, he is powerful, by the rule of law, let him choose people of his own strength. Btb, no man is speaking about mental courage, they talk only about physical strength. Did Mahathma Gandhi and Gauthama Buddha win people’s hearts by their physical prowess? They are also powerful MEN….
    2. How many parents of sons are inculcating this respect of equality to their boys? I find many parents around me talking about academics, career graph and hobby activities. But when they talk about culture….well, it is meant only for the girls is it? The culture of lighting diyas, praying to God, drawing rangoli, decorating the house, etc. Do we find the parents involving their sons and daughters equally in it?
    3. Parents have different yardstick for son and daughter – if a daughter smokes or drinks, it is against family pride, honour and culture. But if boys do the same thing, then they say, ‘boys are like that’. Now who is giving blanket permission to the boys? When there is a relaxation of the rule in certain things like this, they take it for granted that it is like this in everything, and it affects the others in the society.

    As the writer above has said, why don’t we have the same rules for both genders. If a girl should adhere to the rules of the family, then a boy also should. If one gender’s misbehaviour affects the family, then the other gender’s misdeeds should also carry the same weightage. Our legal system does not discriminate or relax rules because of misdeeds done by a particular gender, then why encourage it in the family. All parents need to start taking onus in bringing good citizens to the country. If we bring a life into this world, it is our responsibility to bring up that child as good persons, and not just ‘achievers’ in academics.

  4. you have written it very well and it is a very important issue. no second thoughts on that, but what is wrong in saying girls should be trained to defend themselves? isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? When girls are able to defend themselves it just makes them more confident.Just carrying a pepper spray with me makes me feel much more secure than otherwise.

    I am not saying its the solution, and i agree with everything else you say here but when in a difficult situation, presence of mind and some self defense will definitely help.

  5. Arpitha: there is nothing wrong in defending one’s self. But the speaker seemed to imply that society and family have no role or responsibility in ensuring the safety of women.

    Lee:well said. Men should try to overpower other men with equal physical strength to understand how powerful they actually are. These cowards make a sadist display of their power by subjugating women physically and rape is one way to show it.

    Seema: even if all women decide to stand up for each other the safety of women is possible. Sadly women too tend to turn away and /or gossip, criticising other women in distress.

    Shonali: true. Schools and society should be more sensitive to such issues.

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