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NCW Member Shows Usual Insensitivity By Blaming Victim For Badaun Rape & Murder

Posted: January 7, 2021

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NCW Member Chandramukhi Devi’s insensitive remarks against Badaun rape & murder victim is yet another sexist incident of victim blaming.  

A few days ago, the country witnessed yet another horrific incident against women in the country. In Badaun district, Uttar Pradesh, a woman who had gone out to a temple to pray was gang- raped and murdered by a priest and two others. The perpetrators left her body outside her house and fled the scene.

This incident saw a lot of reactions from several people around the country. While some blamed the condition of the law and order in UP for the occurrence of this incident, some passed shameful remarks on the woman, questioning why she went out alone in the evening.

One such statement was given by Chandramukhi Devi, a member of the National Commission for Woman, a commission meant to ensure the protection of women in the country. In her statement, she said, “Had the victim not gone out alone in the evening or if she had taken some boy from her family with her, this incident wouldn’t have occurred.” 

Twitterati enraged over this statement

This statement has invoked a lot of reactions from people, some people called her out for victim blaming and some wrote about the state of our current society for women.

Kavita Krishnan, feminist activist and writer calls out this ingrained rape culture.

Even ordinary citizens call out the NCW member’s statement, and express outrage.

This tweet shows how useless her advice is.

Our old tradition of victim blaming

This mentality has been reflected from time to time in the statements given by various politicians as well, which have brought out their mentality regarding women and rape victims in the public arena.

In 2012, a ruling party leader from Haryana had said, “If we go into the details of rape cases and abductions, it is found that victims and accused in 90% cases are runaway couples. So the cases are consensual.”

In 2014, RR Patil, a minister in the Maharashtra cabinet had said, “Even if we provide one policeman per house we can’t stop crimes against women. The rise in atrocities against women is due to obscene images used in advertisements.” Again, everyone except the actual perpetrators were blamed here.

Victim blaming stops survivors from coming forward

Statements like these are almost always ‘expected’ from politicians and others who feel the victim ‘asked for it’, a regrettable trait we Indians seem to stick with. It’s are not only a reflection of the kind of mentality we harbour against rape victims and women in general, but also show why so many women and their families fear filing cases in police stations.

According to this report, only 15% cases of sexual violence are reported in India while only 0.5% incidents of violence against women are reported in many states of India like UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and some others.

It is unfortunate that this needs to be said, but instead of blaming the victims, we need to hold the perpetrators of the crime accountable. Instead of asking a woman why she wore a certain outfit or why did she go out at a certain time, people need to change their misogynistic mindset and demand change in the law and order of the country, so that women can live safely.

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