India’s Battle With Sexual Violence

Ramya Ramalingam

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Independence Day of India | Explored

Victim shaming has been a primary reason why sexual violence in most cases go unreported in India. Victims of sexual violence not only have to cope with the physical, mental and emotional trauma the heinous act causes. They also must live with the stigma attached to the survivors of these atrocious crimes.

The alarming rate at which these crimes occur very little has been done to aid the victims who come forward to report them. Victims often must relive the trauma while recounting every gory detail of the monstrous offence committed against them while filing an official report and during the trial phase which seem endlessly exhaustive, the pressures of which serves has a deterrent.  In most cases officials handling these cases are not sensitised to the plight of the victims. In some cases, the treatment meted out to the victims are outrageous.

The Indian government had mended its bylaws as an aftermath of the Rape case of a student in Delhi that had caused furore across India. Fast track courts, speedy trials and increase in prison terms have been put in place. Unfortunately, there has been no stark decline of such crimes, many victims do not feel encouraged to come forth to report these crimes.

 In recent times, prominent people dolling out advices on how women can keep themselves safe from such crimes have been shameful to say the least what with the fact that these are the very people holding public offices. Comments on woman’s clothes, behaviour and her being in supposedly inappropriate places has causative factors of rape are outright appalling.  

The societal approach towards the victims are often unsupportive which leads to isolation from outside world. Survivors are often stigmatised which makes it more difficult for them to cope with the lasting impact of such harrowing events let alone seek justice. India’s battle with sexual violence continues to haunt her and any immediate reprieve seems evasive.

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Ramya Ramalingam