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Sexual Crimes Increased by 14% After MeToo Movement

14% rise in sex crime reporting after MeToo movement, says a study

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MeToo movement
The MeToo movement started on October 15, 2017 after sexual misconduct allegations against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Wikimedia Commons

The MeToo movement that took the world by storm has led to a 14 per cent rise in reporting of sexual crimes during its first three months across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

The MeToo movement started on October 15, 2017 after sexual misconduct allegations against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein became public following a tweet by actress Alyssa Milano who encouraged people who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to write “Me too” on social media.

The MeToo movement was exceptionally effective in rapidly increasing awareness around sexual misconduct in many countries including India.

However, despite the increase in crimes reported, the movement did not increase the number of sexual crimes cleared by the police, said the study published on SSRN, formerly known as the Social Science Research Network.

For the study, Roee Levy and Martin Mattsson from Yale University in the US constructed a new data set of sexual and non-sexual crimes in 24 OECD countries, covering 81 per cent of the OECD population.

MeToo crime
Despite the increase in crimes reported, the MeToo movement did not increase the number of sexual crimes cleared by the police. Lifetime Stock

“Our results suggest that social movements can rapidly change high stakes personal decisions,” the study said.

The researchers estimated that in the first three months of the movement, 11,598 additional sexual crimes were reported in the 13 OECD countries with “strong” MeToo movements.

“This study showed that the MeToo movement had a substantial, persistent effect on the propensity to report sexual crimes. This result is consistent across multiple samples and is robust across multiple estimation techniques,” the study concluded.

The MeToo movement focused on female victims, and often on cases that occurred several months or years before they were discussed in the media.

The researchers said that focusing on the US allowed them to understand better who was affected by the movement.

“The effect is strong and statistically significant for both sexual harassment and sexual assault,” said the study.

“Furthermore, we do not find evidence that the movement disproportionately affected neighbourhoods with higher incomes or more education. Overall, we can reject the argument that the MeToo movement had an effect mostly among whites or those with high socioeconomic status,” it added.

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The findings suggest that social movements can have large, long-lasting effects on social norms and, as a result, individuals make meaningful changes in their personal decisions. The action individuals take is costly and the effect occurs almost immediately. This suggests that awareness-raising campaigns can be effective in changing personal behaviour. (IANS)

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Mercy for the Nirbhaya Rapists?

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past.

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Nirbhaya
The Nirbhaya incident in Delhi was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India.

By Salil Gewali

Gender discrimination is the root of many evils. While keeping the aspiration of females down, certain males have committed many wrongs in the past. Apart from various kinds of physical tortures, the mental tortures undergone by defenseless females are endless. Within the confinement of four-walls innumerable sins are still being committed which mostly go unreported. However, it was Nirbhaya’s rape incident in Delhi that was “instrumental” in bringing about a kind of gender awareness renaissance in India. Post-Nirbhaya incident, a lot many changes in the laws have been made. The safety and security of women have been prioritized, the nation-wide the whole police departments have been sensitized, to a greater extent the road transportation has been made women-friendly.

Nirbhaya rape
The public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night.

Thanks to the countless number of protests across the country condemning the six rapists. The people from all walks of life came together and relentlessly pressurized the government that the Nirbhaya convicts must be awarded capital punishment. Media’s contribution in the campaign is immeasurable. Alas, India’s judiciary is so annoyingly slow it has taken over 7 years to pronounce the death sentence.

Nirbhaya rape
Advocate Indira Jaising suggested that the convicts of Nirbhaya rape case could be “forgiven” by the parents.

However, now nothing could be so mind-blowing than the flood of condemnation against the comments by a veteran advocate and social activist Indira Jaising. Without a sense of guilt and potential backlash, she suggested that the convicts be “forgiven” by the parents. Jaising’s idea has clearly touched a raw nerve of the major population in the country. People’s anger is spilled well over social media. What is most noteworthy is the scathing condemnation directly from the horse mouth — the mother Asha Devi. A very bold lady, who determinedly fought for justice for so many years, thunders – “Who is Indira Jaising to give me such a suggestion? The whole country wants the convicts to be executed. Just because of people like her, justice is not done with rape victims,” Asha Devi aptly further adds — “Can’t believe how Jaising even dared to suggest such this; I met her many times over the years in Supreme Court, “not once” she asked for my well-being and today she is speaking for convicts. Such people earn a livelihood by supporting rapists; hence rape incidents don’t stop,”

The latter comments by the Nirbhaya’s mother clearly hint the doubt at the “integrity” of the advocate Ms. Jaising. How on earth that one who has not spoken a word of sympathy in spite of many encounters in the court can reserves the right to suggest that which offends the distressed victim party. Asha Devi deserves a salute for her boldness. Yes, India Jaising is one of the advocates who knocked the door of the Chief Justice of India in the middle of the night in July 2015 in order to seek the mercy for the dreaded terrorist Yakub Menon.

Nirbhaya rapists
In 2015, the Delhi Government proposed to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine.

Again, here is another bombshell to drop which many of us may have forgotten. Can we ever “forgive” for the shocking proposal in 2015 by Delhi Government to award the Nirbhaya juvenile convicts with Rs 10000/- and a sewing machine?  Who has approved such bizarre ideas and which leaders are responsible? What kind of lesson should the citizens take from this?

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I think the public is right and more sensible now to point out the “hard cruelty” with which the gang had sexually tortured Nirbhaya that night. They had used the iron-rod to inflict deep injuries upon the girl which is unspeakable, which is very unpardonable. So, given the increasing cases of rapes and subsequent inhumane cruelty and cold-blooded killings, Capital punishment can be the only answer and “one of the deterrents”. Before the divine retribution, the hard rod of punishment should not be spared at all. 

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali