This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Saurabh Parmar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

What Makes Rape Graver Than Other Crimes?

More from Saurabh Parmar

There is nothing wrong in thinking obvious differently.

~ Self

“Martial rape. Gangrape. Forced sex.” These are some of the daily headlines of our newspapers and news channel broadcast. Our society is turning into the rape capital, making it unsafe for women and girls of all ages. Even men are facing sexual assault, but that requires separate attention.

Today we will be talking about what rape is and how grave a situation it creates. Let’s address the gravity of the problem first, before we open Pandora’s box by going into unresolved complexities. Most of us ostensibly think that only the incident of rape is wrong, the definition of rape as a crime is still accurate. But I bet after reading this piece, you’ll realise the importance of defining it too.

What makes rape more grave than other crimes? Any idea? Other than it abridges one’s dignity? The most worrisome element is the violation of one’s bodily freedom. In this world, the body is the most fundamental and foremost entity that an individual connects to. Outright rejection of one’s consent regarding their bodily control is outrageous. A body is as sacrosanct to an individual as a temple is to religion. Gladly, our law protectors have realised this and diluted the clause of penetration while analysing the cases.

Then the issue of feeble consent and misogynist attitude towards women is a retrograde factor. In the Mahmood Farooqui judgement, the court took a retrogressive approach to deal with the situation which finally led to the acquittal of accused. We have the culture where women are subjugated even when she stands for herself. Taking no as yes has become the norm for our male-dominated society.

In another judgment regarding a rape case in Haryana, the court blamed the victim for voyeurism and sexual adventurism. The point to be raised here is that even when the person is open to sexual relations and casual about who she sleeps with, does it equate to unauthorized access to her body? The clear-cut demarcation between the two needs to be put in the legal frame.

The victim is always shamed and blamed. She is made to feel guilty for all the wrongs. For worse, she is made to feel ostracized away from the very people she lives with. The gruesome horror further advances when she is seen as the discarded one. It is widely believed that after such incidents, a girl’s body gets corrupt. She doesn’t deserve any happiness either in her personal life as well as in societal one. It’s total crap.

Such events have also created the environment of mistrust too. Few criminals have tainted a huge dark blot on the whole of the male section. Even the genuine help is seen with the eyes of suspicion. The hostility towards other gender has increased. The main reason for such sorry state lies in the fact that rape is one of those crimes whose motives lies in the inner desire of human nature. As sex is natural to any species, the desire for it is also natural. Such motive is absent in the events of murder or such things. In my opinion, there is no such innate drive to kill someone to satisfy ones’ desire.

The contrast is such that any male can be seen as a potential rapist because the crime of rape comes without underlying motive. It is a spur of the moment thing. Murder and loot still demand purpose. Even the hacking crimes have some or the other agenda. But here, as far as the sexual feelings exist, the sense of fear of rape arising from it will exist too, making it ever threatening. Sometimes I too wonder how other female companions of mine see my behaviour. Do they see a friendly gesture or a potential rapist?

Now it’s time to get to the trickiest part, i.e. the definition of rape. As per various legal statutes, rape amounts to forced sex ( penetration) without the consent of the other individual. The element of sexual innuendo and lack of consensus are two important elements that need to be understood in order to analyse the crime. The first one is still fairly easy to understand as the rape is a way to exercise physical domination by one party to satisfy their sexual lust.

But the second part which is the forced sex is the real puzzle. My point is not the lack of consent. My concern is the consensual sex. Let’s understand by an example. If two people have consensual sex (whatever be the underlying pretext or context), then the sex is mutual. Then how can the same consent become a crime if the dynamics of relations between both change?

Take a real-life situation where two people have sex on the pretext of the promise of marriage by any party. Then if the pretext gets lost, how can the subject (sex) and conditionality (consensual act) get diminished? Rape is the violation of body, not the violation of trust or feelings. Otherwise, any consensual act is a potential rape case whose only litmus test depends on the basis of goodwill of both party’s relations. Violating trust and faith of someone is also wrong, but that cannot be treated as equivalent to the actual crime of rape. A civil case differs from a criminal case. People need to understand it and stop using its misuse.

I am not even 1% in support of such false pretences for satisfying the bodily desire, but I am of the opinion that either such consensual acts should not be considered under rape or the definition of rape should be amended to include violation of other kinds. In this regard, a new offence of civil and criminal nature can be created in the statute to better deal with such sexual menace. In the light of this, does this mean that everyone is a rapist? If such is the case, then it’s a very terrible picture we are portraying in the name of curbing the sexual menace.

The only way forward is to understand the meaning of consent and its applicability in a situation. The people should not fall prey to other’s false promises. Along with it, the definition of rape should be amended to include the above concerns. And as a society, we should be sure that we aren’t gullible enough, that others can take advantage of us.

The solution lies in changing the outlook towards this social evil. Mere law and its implementation aren’t enough. The complete in-depth analysis of all causes, making rape as a crime should be taken a second relook at. Also, we need to be assertive about our choices and rise to the intellectual maturity of our mind to better deal with the seriousness of this issue.

You must be to comment.

More from Saurabh Parmar

Similar Posts

By Neha Yadav

By Tanveer Wani

By NISHA DEY

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at actnow@youthkiawaaz.com

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.









        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below