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Why do they rape?

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By Roshni Chakrabarty

Since 2008, 24-year-old Ravindra Kumar has raped and abused more than 30 children, killing most of them. Arrested in July, he showed no remorse and proclaimed that had he not been arrested, he would have continued on his spree.

tenant-rapes-two-minor-sisters-arrested_051114040400A month before, a three-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a slum cluster in Pilanji village near Sarojini Nagar was raped and a wooden object was inserted into her private parts by unidentified assailants.

In August, a man was sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for raping his 16-year-old daughter and trying to kill her after the act. Such crimes are rampant in India. A report by the National Crime Records Bureau revealed that a woman is raped every 29 minutes. In 2012, the number of such rape cases reported was 706. The number increased to 1,636 and 2,166 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

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Image Source: www.newindianexpress.com

The major reason behind this increase in number is the awareness rush caused in India due to the wave of protests following the Nirbhaya case in 2012.

“It is only due to this awareness that many have finally understood the fact that they are victims. Unless people understand what their rights are, they wouldn’t know when they are being violated,” criminal psychologist Anuja Kapur told NewsGram.

Most sexual offenders are initially victims who have faced some sort of abuse. When they are not spoken to and counselled at the right time, they turn into offenders themselves and take revenge upon the society. “It is this vicious cycle which needs to be broken,” she added.

Sending offenders to jail without any proper steps for their reformation is not the solution. They act as a punishment only without solving the issue itself.

In 2013, Derek Medina of Miami shot his wife and posted the photo of her bloody corpse on Facebook. Whereas a murder like this is a routine affair in South Florida, Medina shot to viral fame due to his act. “You will see me in the news,” he wrote in the post accompanying the photo. While the social media boom has brought to light the range of crimes against women, the vengeful ideas are also being amplified by the same platform.17-1426573913-women-rape123-600

WHO report (2013) called violence against women “a global health problem of epidemic proportion,” which is wreaking havoc on social media. Rape videos, revenge porn and gruesome photos of violence against women are splashed across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with misogynistic comments supporting the crimes. This fuels the urge of offenders to share their exploits on a public forum.

In an age where one can get instant fame at the click of a mouse button, criminals and sex offenders turn into “copycats”, imitating gruesome crimes in order to get fame. In January, a woman was found murdered and violated with a stick, in Delhi’s Vasant Kunj. The incident was eerily similar to the December 2012 Nirbhaya case in Delhi. In the case of a gang-rape, the individuals lose awareness of their own morality and adopt a misogynistic group mindset. As a result, gang rapes are more violent and aggressive in nature.

To nip the crime in the bud, victimologist Anuja Kapur quipped, “Sensitization of the society is most essential. We have to teach our children how to take responsibility of themselves. Women need to understand that the societal norms are not going to change overnight. They should not act in a reckless manner just to prove a point.”

In a society such as that of India, which has developed exponentially within a very short span of time, a disparity is created amongst the masses as they are unable to cope with the changing roles of men and women. “When a woman changes, the nation changes.”

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Trump Can’t Deny Birth Control Coverage: U.S. Court

The case became more complicated after the Trump administration last month issued new birth control coverage rules that are set to supersede those at issue in the lawsuit before the 9th Circuit.

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A one-month dosage of hormonal birth control pills is displayed in Sacramento, Calif. VOA

A divided U.S. appeals court Thursday blocked rules by the Trump administration that allowed more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control.

The ruling, however, may be short lived because the administration has adopted new rules on contraceptive coverage that are set to take effect next month and will likely prompt renewed legal challenges.

Thursday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerned changes to birth control coverage requirements under President Barack Obama’s health care law that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued in October 2017.

States were likely to succeed on their claim that those changes were made without required notice and public comment, the appeals court panel said in a 2-1 decision.

USA, birth control
A man stands outside the main door of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco. VOA

The majority upheld a preliminary injunction against the rules issued by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam last year. It, however, limited the scope of the injunction, applying it only to the five states in the lawsuit and not the entire country.

Another federal judge also blocked the rules, and her nationwide injunction remains in place.

An email to the Justice Department seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Obama’s health care law required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost, though it included exemptions for religious organizations. The new policy allowed more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing free contraception to women by claiming religious objections. It also allowed any company that is not publicly traded to deny coverage on moral grounds.

The Department of Justice said in court documents that the rules were about protecting a small group of “sincere religious and moral objectors” from having to violate their beliefs. The changes were favored by social conservatives who are staunch supporters of President Donald Trump.

Reproductive Rights, abortion, women, birth control
A community health worker holds up contraceptives during a lecture on family planning at a reproductive health clinic run by an NGO in Tondo city, metro Manila. VOA

California filed a lawsuit to block the changes that was joined by Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

“Today’s decision is an important step to protect a woman’s right to access cost-free birth control and make independent decisions about her own reproductive health care,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

‘Economic harm’

The states argued that the changes could result in millions of women losing free birth control services, forcing them to seek contraceptive care through state-run programs or programs that the states had to reimburse.

The states show with “reasonable probability” that the new rules will lead women to lose employer-sponsored contraceptive coverage, “which will then result in economic harm to the states,” 9th Circuit Judge J. Clifford Wallace, a nominee of Republican President Richard Nixon, wrote for the majority.

Reproductive Rights, abortion, women, birth control
Newer Contraception Tries to Engage Men. VOA

In a dissent, 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Kleinfeld said the economic harm to the states was “self-inflicted” because they chose to provide contraceptive coverage to women. The states, therefore, did not have the authority to bring the lawsuit, said Kleinfeld, a nominee of Republican President George H.W. Bush.

Also Read: To Diversify The Industry, Apple Pledges To Train More Women

The case became more complicated after the Trump administration last month issued new birth control coverage rules that are set to supersede those at issue in the lawsuit before the 9th Circuit. Under the new rules, large companies whose stock is sold to investors won’t be able to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage.

Wallace said the new rules did not make the case before the 9th Circuit moot because they are not set to take effect until January. (VOA)