BY NEHA HEGDE
People say rape is the only crime where a woman is both the victim and the accused. We always wonder how does a rape takes place? How can people be so cruel? Well, rape is a crime that takes place within our own small world which we consider to be safe. It can be within our family, within our friends, or within our locality. We call any sexual interaction of humans without the consent of both the individuals who are involved in the act as rape. Except for the cases where both are married under the law.
Marital Rape must also be considered as rape under the law.
Indian Law does not consider Marital Rape as a crime, this seems illogical. Consent is what matters the most in our lives, without that no matter who the person is, it is disgusting. Cruelty exists and it can't be neglected just because of the agreement of marriage. Women need to be protected in every way possible because the situation and dignity of women are crucial at this point in time. Women are suffering even under the law because of such provisions.
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Rape is not just the suffering, what happens after that also hurts women.
A woman is the human here who goes through abuses mentally, socially, and emotionally after a rape. When compared to the man, in the majority cases it is women who suffer. Not only getting raped but also upon that, women should resist the judgements on her individuality done by society. This society judges every action of a living creature. In issues like rape, Feminism is totally acceptable and there is no fault in being a feminist when needed the most. When we look at the meaning of feminism in the dictionary, it is just and fair. It is oriented towards equal rights and not related to gender dominance.
The American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian Angelina Jolie once said –
" That there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence. The shame is on the aggressor."
According to the 2019 annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB), 32033 rape cases were registered across the country, or an average of 88 cases was registered daily. Unsplash
In a courtroom, it's a challenging task for someone to prove it as a rape. Because rape is about sex and sex is something which is personal and related to individuals, unlike a public domain. Even if an act of immorality takes place, the right evidence is needed for the court to punish the accused. In this matter, figuring the evidence is a difficult task to complete. So we have a lot of cases in the world which are still hiding behind the limitations of the law, for not having accurate evidence. Not just the evidence, in India we have a lot of issues that are not even filed because of dignity and to carry the mask of pride that people put in front of society.
In the book "Brave" by Rose McGowan, she says –" The truth of it is, the shame was not mine, and for all victims in similar situations, it is not ours. The shame is reserved for every creep who has ever touched us inappropriately. The shame is on the abuser, not the victim, not the survivor. It is tragic that so many of us have to survive this kind of crap, and I'm so sorry if it has happened to you."
We as citizens must be aware that we won't be the people who will judge, the suffering of being abused is known only by the person who undergoes the abuse. Any act of immorality in our society deserves punishment. It is not the clothes, actions, or any other choices of women that lead to rape. It is the brutal mindset of people to rape which leads to rape. No human deserves abuse. "Rape is the problem and women are not the problems."
Due to a few recent issues of rape and sexual assault which created widespread media attention and triggered public protest led the Government of India to reform its penal code for rape laws. This is all in theories and words, what we need to ensure is that our reality is improvised and not just the amendment of the law.
What can be done to stop this?
The major thing we can do is to follow the philosophy of grievous punishment to grievous crimes. Humanity does matter but not in situations where a violent punishment is needed. A person who commits a brutal rape deserves to be hanged. Also, we want the speed proceedings of court and justice. We don't want to know the result of the crime after many years. It is high time that we consider these things and implement them for a better tomorrow.