India is a country where a rape occurs every 21 minutes. No woman, whether a few days old or 95 years old, is safe from this heinous crime. Sometimes these reports make us angry, sometimes they make us cry, sometimes they are just another report, but most of the times they end up being just another case in the files.
Have you ever wondered, what a rape survivor – or “victim” – must have felt? What would she have wanted to tell the society at large, which blames her at the end even when she is not at fault? It was only recently that the law even identified a “victim” under the Code of Criminal Procedure. As per the said law, a “victim” is a person who has suffered a loss or injury caused by reason of the act or omission for which the accused person has been charged and the expression “victim” includes his or her guardian or legal heir;’ Even despite this definition, we so conveniently blame the Victim for the Rape committed on her by the Accused.
Apart from Victim Shaming and Rape one of the most henious crimes that is committed by us as a society is by staying Silent, when we can see that something wrong is going on. For Example: hereunder are a few reported case studies,
One thing was common, which even the Victims, who were alive also mentioned.
“Nobody came forward to help them”
Not only in these cases but in several cases the victims have given their statements that people did not wish to come ahead and help us. Probably, if only a few people would have just raised their voice, these hooligans would not have dared to take such a bold step. Many a times our silence and ignorance is what encourages hooliganism.
As, a lawyer I have worked with several NGO’s that work for women’s rights. Whenever we met any domestic violence victim, one statement that they said was, whenever my husband or inlaws hit me, my neighbours came in and witnessed, but nobody came to help me and nobody will come to police station now. Sometimes, children as young as 2 and 3 have come forward to save their mothers while the elders, watched around ignorantly saying it is their personal matter. In such cases many a times even, when we wish to help women, we cannot help.
This women’s Day Let us take a step ahead and promise the people, that next time we see something wrong happening, we will step forward for them, we will raise our voice against the accused and not against the accused.