We’ve Reached A Dead End, But Won’t Give Up Until This Rapist Of A 10 y.o. Is Punished

Bystander intervention by speaking up, reporting a crime, and following it up does give results, even if not satisfactory every time. But that did not faze these inspiring women who are committed to getting a rapist punished.

Bystander intervention by speaking up, reporting a crime, and following it up does give results, even if not satisfactory every time. But that did not faze these inspiring women who are committed to getting a rapist punished.

On Diwali day, 7th November, a patient messaged OB-GYN Sweta Singh saying he had ejaculated on the vagina of a 10 y.o., and could she get pregnant? Realising that this was a rapist given that the girl in question was a minor, Dr Sweta Singh immediately got together a group of like minded feminist women including Anushree K and Kirthi Jayakumar, committed to make a difference, and reported the crime.

Following up after reporting

Over the past 2 weeks, they have consistently followed up with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, who after an initial promising start, weren’t as helpful.

But police from Bengaluru and Pune between them have apprehended the man, a 34 year old who claims it was a prank, and may walk free. ‘It turns out 34-year-old Karanth had posted the query to shock the doctor and had no clue about the consequences it would have, or that is his claim to the police. “We are closing the case as it has been confirmed that he made the post but did not commit the crime. We have checked in detail and it has been found that he did not do any such act. For every crime there has to be a victim,” said K Annamalai, deputy commissioner of police (South), Bengaluru.’

Is it really a dead end?

Dr Sweta Singh and the others are not convinced. Shared below with permission is a Facebook post written by Anushree K.

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In this, she says, ‘The perpetrator says he was trying to shock the Doc. Well, he did a great job of that. He did not realize it might backfire. And then we say what’s wrong with some humor? What’s wrong with harmless pranks? Pranks such as these? You have to be really sick in the head or a predator yourself in order to reach to a point where you play practical jokes/pranks such as these. You are possibly playing with someone else’s trauma. This is mentally sick behavior. This is not normal. Playing pranks like these is NOT normal. All of us are convinced this was not a mere prank. All of us are convinced that there is more to this. Unfortunately, now we stand facing closed doors.’

But they are not willing to give up, as they are convinced that it isn’t a prank, and that there is a traumatised child somewhere who needs help to deal with this, as well as justice. And there are many women out there who agree with them. As one comment on the above post said,

Importance of bystander intervention

And as this action, and the committed follow-through by these women showed, bystander intervention is so important. It is not enough to just see these things happening. If you can speak up, we should. As Anushree says further in her post,

‘Sweta was someone who was willing to shell out huge sums of money to ensure the case reaches its result. She could have just lodged a complaint and backed off as is needed by the law. But we learn as bystanders it is essential for us to ensure proper avenues are tapped and whatever possible is done. She did all of it and more. She cried and she fought. At times when there is so much happening in the background, one doubt or aspersion cast can demotivate someone already going through too much, to a large extent. Is this why no one comes forward? Is that fair?

It’s a sincere appeal, do NOT keep quiet. The statistics show horrible results about child sexual abuse. We CANNOT keep quiet. Ever. Even if it’s the smallest possible deviation. We cannot. At the moment, in a nutshell, we are still not convinced and we will still think how to go about this further. From police authorities, the case seems to stand closed as of now.’

And what if, as the man claims, it is a prank?

Anushree says, ‘So what do we do when a thing like this comes up? WE REPORT. What if it is a prank? WE STILL REPORT. What if it isn’t? What if someone has been affected badly? I repeat – such pranks are NOT normal. These are either real or these indicate a making of a predator. So, report! Report till all these pranks of harassing young female docs come to an end. Report till they feel extremely scared to even think like this.’

Power of the sisterhood

As Kirthi Jayakumar says, ‘Regardless… This case is a lesson in itself to report, to stay vigilant, and to walk till the end of the world and back. The feminist sisterhood is an incomparable powerhouse.’

As long as these ladies support each other, the fight will still be on, trying to track down the survivor, and fighting to get the perpetrator to pay for his actions, by the legal route. Anushree K has the last word when she says in reply to a comment on her post,

Image source: shutterstock

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About the Author

Sandhya Renukamba

In her role as the Senior Editor & Community Manager at Women's Web, Sandhya Renukamba is fortunate to associate every day with a whole lot of smart and fabulous writers and readers. A doctor read more...

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