“A woman is raped in the Indian capital every 24 hours and, in an overwhelming majority of cases registered by police in the last six months, the rapists were known to the victims.” said a report in the Times Of India in the year 2004. According to some statistics, only one in 69 rape cases in India are even reported. Only 20 % of those reported result in convictions for the rape accused.
In the first four months of 2008, over 330 cases of rape were registered in Delhi. In 98% of these cases, the rapist was known to the victim. With a recent boom in the number of rapes in Delhi, the city has earned itself the dubious distinction of being called the ‘Rape Capital of India’. Moreover, everyday, girls travelling via public transport have face all sorts of abuses and exploitations.
Delhi, which is known for it’s heritage and the Parliament of India and the various embassies, has left no stone unturned to earn itself a place on the map for being the city with the most rape cases in India.
In the past week alone, over 12 rape cases have been registered in Delhi, out of which a majority are gang rapes. The victims are usually selected by the rapists on the basis of their behaviour. A girl who is introvert and shy and displays fear and lack of confidence is an easier victim of rape than a girl who is confident and alert.
Rape, being one of the worst crimes ever, needs to be tackled well.
The men who commit rape are usually drunk, sexually excited and in a mood for vengance, thus they end up raping a poor soul. Lack of sex education, disrespect for the fairer sex, unsatisfied needs and a number of other factors lead to this crime.
But, the fact is that the girl who is raped is, in a majority of cases, burdened under the social stigma. She cannot live a normal life even if she wants to. The society would not allow her to. Rape is a crime which virtually ends a girls life forever, she has to live with that burden for the rest of her life. And adding to this, the society lays its burdens on the poor girl.
In Noida, in a gang rape case, the parents and the relatives of the rapists said, “It is the job of boys to do such things. Boys will always remain like this. The girl who was raped must be ashamed of herself for indulging in such acts. If it would have been our daughter, we would have killed her.” These were villagers, and what is worse is that 60-70% of India is village. So, does a majority of India think this way?
These problems can never be solved until and unless we, as a society and as one people come together against such acts of barbarity.
Youth Ki Awaaz brings to you a few tips and steps on how to be safe:
How to prevent a potential rape? (for women)
While you never know if you will be a rape victim, there are ways to protect yourself against being attacked. By following these tips, you’ll make the world a little safer for yourself. Take a self-defense class. You will get all the information you need and skills to protect yourself.
Stay aware. Do not jog with your iPod because attackers are looking for easy, distracted prey. The same can be said for talking on your cell phone. On the other hand, if you feel someone is following you, it can help to pull out your cell phone and pretend to be talking to someone because your “conversation partner” would be aware of an attack. If your potential attacker is going for “no witnesses”, they might back off and change their mind. You can even pretend that you are meeting up with someone and they are already here/heading this way VERY soon. Don’t say “5 minutes” or the attacker may only decide to take action quicker. If they think you are in safe hands or will be in less than a minute, they might back off.
Learn to trust your gut instincts. It could save you from being raped or worse. If you feel uneasy or unsure in anyway, it is in your best interest to get away and get help. Use common sense.
Understand that your hairstyle could benefit an attacker. Ponytails are the number one style that rapists look for because they are easy to grab and you can be held with them.
Carry defensive items only if you know how to use them. Anything that could hurt a potential attacker can also be used against you if you are not well trained and comfortable with the item. If you are going to carry a handgun, make sure to take classes in its use, practice often at a firing range, and apply for a concealed weapons permit; if you carry a knife, take a course in the most effective way to use it. Remember that even an umbrella or purse can be used as a weapon against an attacker, and has less chance of being turned against you.
Yell, shout and draw attention to yourself. Attackers usually have an idea of how the attack will happen. Disrupt that idea. Fight like hell and yell loudly and strongly; There is a common belief it is better to call “fire” than help – however many believe this is misguided, if not plain wrong. The ‘fire idea” is based on the belief that people don’t want to get involved in assisting therefore you should trick them into believing there is a fire. This could be unwise. Numerous bystander studies (e.g. Latane and Darley) show the reason bystanders do not help is a simple one; confusion. Bystanders are unsure of what is going on; do the attacker and victim know each other? etc. This would suggest it is better to “tell it like it is” and yell “POLICE!” or “HELP!” This – especially “POLICE”- is more likely to scare the attacker and alert bystanders to the truth of the situation – not confuse them further by yelling “Fire” when there clearly isn’t one. Studies have also suggested this effective strategy: pointing at an individual bystander and saying “you sir, in the white shirt, I need your help now! – This man is attacking me…” Tell it like it is, and point to an individual.
Take a basic self defense course, such as Rape Aggression Defense (RAD). Contact your local police office for programs such as RAD.
Stay careful at parties and bars. Don’t drink anything that somebody gives you–always open and order your own drinks. Never, ever leave a drink unattended for even a moment. Keep your hand over the top of your drink. Do not accept a drink from a date unless the bartender or waitstaff have delivered it straight to you. Don’t want to be rude? Take it to the restroom with you and dump it. DO NOT leave yourself or friends alone and drunk with someone you have a very bad feeling about. Tell other people where you are going. Be aware of public bathrooms in clubs and bars. Women have been attacked in the ladies room if it is deserted.
Think and practice being careful at dance clubs or other places with loud music. Sometimes it is so loud that nobody will be able to hear you cry for help.
Work on being assertive. If somebody is giving you unwanted attention, tell them to back off. There is no need to be polite when somebody is making unwanted sexual advances.
Plan that if a rapist is in your car and is sitting in the passenger seat with a weapon to you, they will tell you to go somewhere where it is more convenient and they is less likely to be witnessed. Whatever you do, don’t drive off. Drive into something that will cause your car to crash. The airbag will save you. It is better to be in a car accident than get raped and possibly killed. However don’t show your rapist that is your plan, so stay as calm as you can inside.
Understand that Vans are the #1 vehicles used in rapes. Rapists will park next to the driver’s side and, as you are trying to get in, they will pull you into the van. If there is a van on the driver’s side of your car, go in through the passenger’s door. If there are vans on both sides, go back to where you were and get someone like a security guard to walk you to your car. Don’t park any place that feels unsafe.
Practice being careful when going into your house or car because someone could easily push you in and lock the door behind you. Be aware of your surroundings; carry your keys ready in your hand and look around you before opening the door.
Keep personal information private. Don’t advertise your info verbally or on the Internet. Also, be very wary of meeting up with people that you meet on the Internet. If you must do so, bring a friend or friends.
Understand vulnerability factors: According to the CDC vulnerabilities include prior sexual abuse as a minor, being female (gender), being under the age of 18, and alcohol or drug use.
Walk with confidence. Look up as you walk and stand up straight; pretending as though you have two big panthers on either side of you as you walk may sound silly, but it can help boost confidence. Attackers are more likely to go for those who they think cannot defend themselves.
Notice and leave identifying marks. A large bite mark on their face, punctured eyeball, deeply scratched leg, ripped out piercing etc. is easily identifiable, as are memorable tattoos, etc. Go for weak spots like eyes (poke hard), nose (hard upward motion with the lower part of your open hand) genitals (grab really tightly and squeeze or punch hard) etc. to make sure the person’s hands aren’t free to punch or hold on to you and you can run for it. If you are in a place where you can’t run, notice your surroundings and leave a mark on them if you can. Rapists have been caught because their victims left identifiable teeth marks, nail marks, or DNA in the cars or rooms where they were assaulted.
Bring A DOG, if going to the park alone, beach, etc. If you have a dog with you, it’s like having another person with you. Large dogs are intimidating to predators, even if your pet isn’t exactly brave. If you don’t have a large dog, bring the small one anyway. Chances are when your little pup sees you in trouble, he’ll be more than happy to protest. Predators won’t usually attack a person with a dog large or small because dogs usually make such a racket you’re bound to draw attention, which is a no-no for predators. Who knows, your weenie dog may just surprise your attacker when he takes some ankle.
Mentally Prepare if you are taken by a rapist. You must do everything in your power to escape even if it means hurting yourself.. Sometimes the rapist will kill his/her victims to prevent himself/herself from being caught or identified. If the rapist comes in your home, throw heavy items through windows and at them. Make as much noise as you can. Do not get in the car or van with them if you can help it. Jump out of a moving car or crash the car if you are driving. Look for every opportunity to hurt them and escape. Take your extreme fear and turn it into fighting anger at your attacker. Do not be passive unless you feel you have to because a weapon is on you. Never give up without fighting a battle.
A rapist might not only be interested in SEX. The person is interested in taking control, humilating and gaining power over his victim by being violent and aggressive. Rape is not an act of LOVE.
When at home-play it safe by never letting people into your home that you do not know. If it is a handyman,cable repair,etc tell them you need to see a PHOTO ID and their truck. If you don’t TRUST them instantly, than do not let them in. If they do not look you in the eyes, have a PHOTO ID, drive a truck with the company name on it, or wear a uniform-that is suspicious behavior, do not let them in your home! Ask them to call the company while they wait outside then have the company call you or call the company yourself.
Being the victim of child sexual abuse actually doubles the likelihood of adult sexual victimization because of increased levels of PTSD (Parillo et. al., 2003), (Sarkar, N.; Sarkar, R., 2005). Ways to seek help to avoid this are listed below.
Remember that attackers usually want easy prey, so don’t cooperate! If you are sexually assaulted, yell things which make it clear everyone that the attacker’s actions are unwelcome.
Intervention such as counseling for mental health issues (like PTSD) and for possible addictions related to the abuse can help people with child sexual abuse histories overcome some of the abuse-related sequel that make them vulnerable to adult re-victimization (Parillo et. al., 2003)
Other factors influencing recovery are emotional support from friends, relations, social and community supports (Sarkar, N.; Sarkar, R., 2005).
Studies find that victims of multiple assaults have higher levels of PTSD than victims of only one assault. So if someone was assaulted twice in childhood and adolescence they would be at an increased risk of adult assault.
One study found that of the 433 sexually assaulted respondents, two-thirds reported more than one incident (Sorenson et. al., 1991)
Rape can and does strike anyone at anytime. Age, social class, ethnic group and has no bearing on the person a rapist chooses to attack. Research data clearly proves that a way a person dresses and/or acts does not influence the rapist’s choice of victims. His/her decision to rape is based on how easily he perceives his target can be intimidated. Rapists are looking for available and vulnerable targets. Statistics were obtained from various sources including the study Rape in America, 1992, National Victim Center, The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the National Crime Survey.
Your natural instinct can save your life. Pay attention to it. It is like radar and can prevent serious problems. A common reporting of women that are about to see their rapist is a quiet voice inside telling them something is very wrong. Listen and respect that voice. If there is a hint of danger about the person or surroundings, do not ignore it.
Rapists do not necessarily look like criminals or “evil”. The person could look very normal, well groomed, athletic pleasant, young, etc. They might not look evil or like a bad guy. They could be your boss, a teacher, a neighbor, boyfriend or girlfriend, or relative.
While a number of website bring steps for women, we bring tips for men, on how NOT to be a Rapist.
Few tips for men:
1. Do not think you have the right to rape a woman.
2. Learn what rape is. Rape is forcing someone to have sex with you when they do not want to.
3. Most rapes are committed by men who know the women they are raping. If the woman you are forcing to have sex with you happens to be your girlfriend, your neighbor, your cousin, your sister, or your wife, it is still RAPE.
4. When someone says no to you, that means you have no right to force yourself on them.
5. When someone pushes you away, or otherwise inclinates, verbally or with physical movement that they do not want to have sex with you, and you force yourself on them, that is rape.
6. If you see a woman in a parking lot, a woman walking alone at night, a woman in a short skirt, don’t rape her.
7. If you’re at a party, and a girl is drunk, do not think that she is your property.
8. Do something else with your misogyny than rape a woman. Try, say, reading a book. Or committing suicide to rid you from the planet so we will have one less rapist walking around.
9. Men are the people who can stop rape. For proof of this fact, look at statistics on rape for a second. It happens every minute of every day, and it is usually not ever reported so statistics on it are always underestimates. Women have been trying to prevent themselves from being raped for a few centuries. Now it is men who have to protect them.
10. Rapists destroy lives in a way that murderers do not. If you rape a person, you are as inhumane as a murderer.
11. Stay away from pornography. That should be a danger sign.