Date: 05/05/2013

The rise in sexual assaults: apathetic, shameful, or downright horrendous?

Tags: sexual assault, rape, crimes against women, Public outrage, Delhi rape, rape capital, Shiela Dikshit, minor raped in Delhi, Delhi Child Rape, Police apathy, Government, protests, Delhi CM, Delhi minor rape, Delhi, India, Child abuse, rape of 5 year old, Central Government


By Stuti Srivastava on April 22, 2013

The rise in sexual assaults: apathetic, shameful, or downright horrendous?

It happened again. Just when outrage, shock and anger over the December 16, 2012 sexual assault had begun to fade from public memory, came the deeply unsettling news about a five-year-old child being repeatedly raped, battered and left to die in a small room in a non-descript corner of Delhi. The horror of the details of the manner in which that child, too small to even fathom what happened to her, was barbarically raped and foreign objects found inserted in her body haunts me as I write this.

How twisted a mind does one have to possess or how acutely pathetic a sexual urge can drive one to do something as heinous as this? Even if there is an answer, no it simply cannot be right. Women walk out to countless stares and leers a day, why should getting used to it become a habit because oh, men are men? What’s worse than this unbelievably shameful and offensive mindset is the blatant acceptance. Patriarchal setups take pride in their women being accepting of them to the extent of actually believing in them and even advocating them. Why?

As a citizen, I can try and pinpoint where we go wrong as a society. But do our ruling powers have or have ever had the courage to face the situation and do something about it? Clearly not. Do they at least accept that they’re lacking on so many levels and work on bettering their internal system? Absolutely not. What are you doing, Sheila Dikshit? Delhi’s maligned image and disgraceful tag of the ‘rape capital’ sits far too comfortable with you? This is not even to put the blame squarely on you, this is simply an honest wonderment. Because Delhi may be notoriously infamous, the sick mentality still isn’t exclusive to it. India, as a country, shames itself with repeated reports of rape crimes emerging from every nook and corner with an alarming increase. An unaware, ignorant society and an inept system is the biggest curse on a country that can be.

Of everything, the most depressing is when the ones who are supposed to protect us, are the ones we probably need protection from. Apparently, the minor’s parents were stationed outside the police station for hours, and the police initially refused to lodge an FIR and then tried to hush them up by offering them Rs 2000, after the child was rescued. In another part of the country, a mentally-challenged woman was raped allegedly by the ward-boy, and the doctors of the nursing home tried to bribe the kin to hush up the matter. The disgust, the horror, the repulsion at this attitude inadvertently seeps through and makes this world that much an unbearable place to live in.

That small child is battling for her life, the accused has been nabbed, and the outrage has mounted. If history is anything to go by, the rise in such horrendous crimes seems unstoppable. How long can we be helpless? More importantly, why are we so helpless? We can’t take the law in our own hands, true. But let the law be powerful enough to not let that need arise. Will the real active, responsible powers please stand up? Every ‘yet again’ is depriving us of that much humanity slowly and poisonously.