Let’s Talk About The Naked Truth Of An Indian Girl’s Experience With Rape Culture

Posted: September 30, 2018

Stop being a spectator in your own lives, says the author, and stand up against the misogyny that follows an Indian girl at every point in her life.

Every girl is a princess of her parents, and has dreams to conquer the world. Girls with dreams become women with vision. Until their path gets diverted by someone’s lust. Sadly, such barbaric and heinous mindsets in which an innocent woman is held for personal interests takes away her everything.

She is absorbing and bearing this sinful pain. “Shhhh! Keep quiet. Don’t tell anyone. You are a girl.”

These voices are pouring into her mind.

“It’s your mistake, Why did you go out so late? Oh! Look at your tight-fitting skirts, you provoked the boy, so it is obvious you suffered.”

“There cannot be smoke without fire…” Oh! These allegations are the stupidest, but nevertheless tingle her mind.

In the court a lawyer of the opposition asked her many provocative questions, “Take an oath on the Holy Gita! Where were his hands? On your chest or thighs or back?”

She had tears in her eyes. She had fingers pointed at her as a prostitute. Is this justice? Her soul shouted for the sake of justice, she lost her respect. Oh! Courageous girl. She didn’t give up. They called her a slut, characterless. But, who can defeat the truth? Her voice was loud. Now, the world could hear it. Justice was now a step away. She finally won her own battle alone. Be a strong girl, be a winner and fight; stand up for yourself and your honour. Only you can save your dignity and pride. Stand for yourself, without fear..

For a rape victim, lodging a First Information Report (FIR), with the police, is just the first hurdle. The procedures that follow are often even more gruelling and traumatic for the victim.

“RE-RAPED”

By hitting words and undressing her identity. So, many families avoid filing a case.

Women themselves are seen nagging and justifying statements. I pity such women; by labelling the victim, these women can see the victim as different from themselves. They feel proud that “I am not like her, I do not do that, if my daughter would have been in the place, I would have set her on fire! This would really never happen to me. “REALLY!”

Wish that were true, but is not, It can happen to anyone.

There are no words to describe the pain she went through when an alien’s fingers groped her body and soul. When the hunger of lust met for hours; torture, disgrace, enormous pain and helplessness. She is torn apart, ruthlessly, lifeless in a gutter or roadside, or a piece of trash. Sometimes with a suicide note, or brutally murdered.

All are not born lucky with luxury in their lap. Sometimes a woman who is the sole bread earner, or ambitious women with a free-thinking soul too undergo much sexual harassment and assault.

Can anyone justify what do these monsters see in a two-year-old innocent girl? Just thinking, how it is it the woman’s fault if she is blamed mercilessly that they ‘show’ their body to get raped! Is it? How can someone think of being raped by just leading a life of her own? When a girl is born, very few parents and families are there who accept and celebrate, otherwise her birth is associated with all social norms and consequences, sorrows and pain, and cursing destiny the girl child’s mother’s lot in life.

Every day news

Every day our newspapers are flooded with gory reports of rapes, molestations, and sexual assault, etc.

Back in 2012, the entire nation was shaken by the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedic student in a moving bus by six men, and her friend was beaten up too. She eventually succumbed to her injuries and died.

After six years the judges upheld the death sentence. Four men convicted for the gang rape while one of the men died in jail, another was tried in a juvenile justice court and was released after he served his three-year sentence. At last, after a long battle, her parents got justice …

The number of courts, judges and prosecutors are grossly inadequate, leading to trials that last years, intimidation of victims and witnesses, and the dropping of many cases before judgment.

The eight-year-old girl from a nomadic community in a village near Kathua in Jammu was raped and murdered. Minor girl gang rape case in Madhya Pradesh, uncle took 14-month-old girl home to play and raped her. Swimming instructor raped a four-year-old girl. Sometimes at home, a girl gets molested by other family members and due to fear she keeps quiet.

The Rohtak rape case which was a shameful act where a ten-year-old kid was found to be five months pregnant since her stepfather had allegedly been raping her and threatening her mother and the victim of dire consequences if they complained against him.

A 17-year-old village girl was drugged and gang-raped by at least two men in a field in the northern Punjab region. The police allegedly failed to take her complaint seriously and the victim ended up killing herself.

What are we doing?

Such cases are happening every other day. Lack of security of girls is a major issue which is to be taken seriously. It’s very disturbing to read these issues everyday in a newspaper, and we say our country is heading towards 21st century; IS IT?

No proper medical care and sanitation are available, nor any trauma counselling is given to these rape victims. There is also a possibility of getting pregnant or contracted HIV/AIDS.

Victims are forced to sit for hours in bloodied clothes, even after an examination, without being allowed to change or shower. Some are publicly identified as ‘rape victims’ in hospital corridors.

What is the victim’s fault? I know her fault. ‘She is a girl’ and the ’cause’ of someone’s lust the biggest fault. And a man thinks that it is his right and supreme authority to satisfy his sexual needs. I have listed only a spoonful of a list from the sea. Well, now I fear, am I safe here? After sunset travelling by a cab is threatening for women. I fear, am I safe here?

Is this a country where our girls are safe?

To go to school, to pursue their career, to move freely anywhere, anytime, to stay single in a city.

Every time my inner voice shouts “NO”

These uninvited beasts should be told, “Get the hell out!”

Crimes against women have nearly doubled. On a near daily basis newspapers across the country talk of a new case. How many candlelight marches and protests will be followed by a brutal case? How many of us followed up on the progress of these cases? Yes, perhaps, we call this victim, “the other Nirbhaya” and forget. After all, it is your daughter who got raped and not mine. I hope, none of us think that, but somehow we behave like this.

If you want to help, let us join our hands. Let us talk about it among friends and family. Educate our boys and make them respectful towards women.

I was watching a movie – Miss World – Linor was a bargirl. She was raped six weeks before she was crowned Miss World 1998. She came out and spoke about it, which helped not only herself but thousands of such victims. She was supported by her family and friends, and she stood up by fighting back. We women (yes WE) have to fight back if someone plays with our dignity we have to show them the hell that exists on earth. A step of courage today can forever save our dignity and our pride.

We need to talk about it

Lack of proper education, lack of counselling, shoddy police investigations and weak prosecutions in the courts are some of the major causes due to which these types of acts are increasing day by day. People watch adult movies, enjoy sex scenes, but these same people would not talk openly about sex education. That becomes taboo. Most people are not educated enough about sex matters or accept rape victims.

Even now we women feel a bit awkward about purchasing tampons for our own periods. We have to change ourselves to be strong to solve our fundamental issues.

Seriously, what kind of message are we trying to give to our future generations? We need to stop the objectification of women’s body and glamourization of sexual violence! It is not a women’s fault or wish to become a rape victim.

Think about it once

Since ancient times women are worshipped in various forms. Lord Shiva is complete when his half is complimented by the half of goddess Parvati and they are called, “Ardhanarishwara”. Where has the respect gone?

Be confident women who participate in their communities and countries development. Be strong women who contribute to their nations’ growth and prosperity. Compassionate women who, as mothers or guardians or leaders, nurture and guide the next generation — boys as well as girls — towards greater equality, justice and prosperity.

Stop being a spectator. Stop accepting things that are wrong; we can change our nation gradually. It should start from our own home, own societies, cities, fighting for own dignity without keeping quiet, standing not just by your daughter, but support every girl as they are somebody’s daughter and our nation’s pride, stand against injustice to women, it may be in the society, office, home or anywhere.

Respect and tolerance towards each other is one of the great human values. It is said that “love creates love”. I also believe that “respect creates respect”. And when everyone tries to respect one another and when men and women are equally respected in a society, then the social and family system will become stronger and healthier.

Society and the government are constantly evolving to take on this challenge of sexual abuse and discrimination. Towards this end several small steps have been taken. Unfortunately, these measures are not widely known – neither by the general public nor by the law enforcement agencies. Police of several states have come up with women oriented mobile phone apps to help women in distress. Also several police stations in various states are now designated as women and child friendly where the personnel are sensitised towards the need of the women victims. Indeed, the law has several features such as non disclosure of the identity of a woman victim of sexual abuse, careful evidence collection in a safe environment and a dedicated women’s helpline number. As women we need to learn these measures and to use them effectively.

Feel the fear and take action anyway. Respect women. Save our pride. Save the nation. Break the ice let’s be with each other to destroy such evils, and head towards prosperity with grace, dignity and honour.

Image source: shutterstock

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