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Very often the victims of any sort of a sexual crime are the ones being blamed for it. Shouldn’t we be normalising them instead of outcasting them?
India is a country that still has deep roots set in patriarchy despite advancement in science and technology. In urban India, we see women doing the jobs men are doing. They get lots of love from their parents and receive a quality education. And are encouraged to pursue their dreams and passions. But this is not true for ALL the girls in India.
Most girls in India have to bear the brunt of patriarchal traditions. Right from childhood, they are told they are parayaa dhan. They are trained to do all the household chores. And asked not to raise their voice or argue with others. More often than not, Indian girls are prepared mentally to suffer practically all kinds of injustice silently.
Quite often, if a girl is raped, her family generally asks her to keep quiet. The is done mainly for the reason that “the society won’t respect a girl who has been raped and defiled.” In the cases where a girl gets support from her family and files a complaint, she has to undergo a tremendous amount of psychological and mental pain. She is harassed by the police, the society, and even the accused! Even other women who otherwise are very ‘sweet and friendly’ don’t openly show support to rape survivors.
In a country where girls as young as a few days old to women in the late nineties are raped, how can we say that a girl or woman is defiled and should be outcast from society? All I want to say and emphasise is, a girl or woman who has been raped is as regular as everyone else is.
In Western countries, nearly as many women get raped as in India. But in those countries, the accused is punished for the crime. The rape survivors get full support and empathy from people around. They feel safe, loved and cared for. They live a completely NORMAL life. These women get married to the person they love and enjoy a blissful family like – a dream too big for those in India.
Why can’t we ‘normalise’ rape survivors in India as they are in the Western countries? After all, rape survivors are also human beings like us. Think about yourself in the situation of a rape survivor. Maybe then you would be able to understand their pain. For one, they are physically violated by some man and to add to it, they are outcast by the society for no mistake of theirs.
Please show support, give all possible love, care, and respect to these women. They are just like you and me. It’s not their fault that they were forcibly violated. They are already broken, instead of breaking them further, help them live a normal life without judgments and criticism.
Believe me, you’ll be creating a safe place for them just by showing them empathy and treating them with respect. Don’t you agree with me when I say ‘Every Woman is Wonderful’?
A version of this was first published here.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie No-one Killed Jessica
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I'm Deeksha- mommy of a little girl, a school teacher by profession and a
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