With growing incidents of rape all around the world there are also growing number of women who have succumbed to it. Fear of boycott and loath of the society has kept them from taking any action against the perpetrators. The society looks down at them with no lesser disgrace than they do at a prostitute. They abandon her as if she no longer deserves a normal life.
However it still amazes me that when a murderer has to bear the blame of a murder why is it not the case with rape? Where the victim has to bear the atrocities of the society and the rapists name remains undisclosed. He may roam around without worrying someone might recognize him and know about his deeds.
After all how many of us know who raped the Nirbhaya on 16th Dec? The juvenile who was just sent to a juvenile care center so that he may improve and learn about the mistake he made will one day roam freely on the streets marry a decent girl and lead a normal life. On the other hand the victim’s family had to face the loss of their daughter.
The shocking article in the Rolling Stones that recently revealed the rape in University of Virginia exposes yet another face of it all, where a first year student was raped by seven men at a party. What’s more appalling is that the associate dean of students admits to the fact that the punishment for cheating is worse than for sexual assault.
So that raises a big question and the answer to which might change the course of the future.
Are we gradually growing tolerant towards rape?
The dean further admitted that there were 38 cases of sexual assault last year…!!! That number could actually make someone jump out of their skin but it does not do so much as to raise eyebrows at the University.
If you are reached your tolerance limit and cannot hear any more you may not want to proceed what lies ahead.
The Rolling Stone Article describes that the victim ran into the main assailant two week after the incident, what he asked was “Are you ignoring me?” adding “I wanted to thank you for the other night. I had a great time.”
What we see here that the student has the guts to thank the girl for letting him rape her. It clearly shows that there is no fear of being punished for committing such a heinous crime. What message are we giving to the coming generation? Who would bear the responsibility of it all?
The debate remains that whether the women who do endure sexual violence or the rapists are at fault, either way the question is- where are we heading to?
By either making the rapists feel that rape is no big crime or by creating situations that make their conviction impossible we are making rape a more acceptable act and hence growing more tolerant towards it.
And as we can imagine child molestation has been ahead of all the other cases, where a child is asked to keep quiet about the incident. Even some of them who dare to speak to their parents, are either not believed or dealt away in a secretive manner. In most of the cases the perpetrator is kept away from the child and no open accusation is made. This however may protect that particular child but gives the perpetrator courage to go to another child until the same story is repeated. The worst part is that in this manner we never even know how many of them (pedophiles) are living amongst us. What is required is to convict them in public so that they do not dare commit the same crime in future and haunt the life of our future children.
There is an urgent need for making stricter and more importantly universal policies for crimes such as rape and other kinds of sexual violence. Universal because the nature of the crime remains the same and a woman is a woman and a rape is a rape no matter if it is China, India, Russia or Pakistan. And such a kind of international punishment would also open the matter for discussion on a larger scale and incidents such as the one happened at the University of Virginia will no longer be dealt with in the national boundaries, so that we connect with women not just from our country but from all over the world. What’s more is that it would give women more courage as they would know that they have a larger community to support them who share similar feelings.
History tells us that every now and then, mankind is faced with a choice, the choice that would shape the generations to come. And whose effects would be felt long after. This is our moment where we can either choose to live with or without rape. We can either may it a way of life or completely reject it and uproot it from the society. This single choice would give birth to a completely new era. And it is well known how many years it takes to change back the ideologies left by one generation in the minds of its people, how difficult it is to overcome prejudices once formed.
The time to act is now. We must not leave the responsibility on the government to take action or to make new laws we must raise our voices. And to raise your voice you need not necessarily be a victim. You must not become an audience when such incident is happening around you. You never know what difference can one voice make?