Needless to say what is RAPE. It is a callous deed of some sort of devils existing unfortunately on earth just to show their fake manliness on guiltless bairns and leave them with a scar of guilt on their adorable faces. RAPE has become a kind of culture just like the culture of India with only a difference that the latter being profusely virtuous while the former being a disagreeable stamp on society. Be it the doting face of the tiny teenage or furrowed profile of declining years all are crushed under the harmless harm of such evil. A girl’s consent is the slightest cornerstone for those meanies.
Rape is a burning issue that invades the whole world today. It happens in every country and does not specifically affect a particular country. It leaves a deep impact on the life of the victim rendering her paralyzed for the rest of her life. Also, it is not based on gender type, even boys too are raped today. So it is not based on any gender, age, class, caste, sexual orientation, financial status, etc. Although rapes happen frequently yet many cases are not being reported in the police station itself due to the fear of being the victim exposed to society. Rape is the most, underreported crime. Rape is a complex crime happening in this world. Even if a victim has been raped she needs to undergo medical tests to make sure that she has been raped. If there is no presence of any physical signs then it can’t be considered to be rape.
Nowadays, date rape has become common. Due to the easy accessibility of illegal drug products these types of rapes have become more common. Sometimes, date rape doesn’t require drugs but the offender might use some unethical products to render the victim helpless and use his power to lock her and ultimately rape her. In such cases, the victim also gets to know nothing that she has been raped. There is a kind of temporary memory failure making her feel uncomfortable sharing the experience with anybody. Some victims also undergo trauma, depression, and another kind of symptoms of mental failure as well.
REASONS FOR RAPE TO BE UNDERVALUED AS A CRIME:
Rape has been considered to be the topmost undervalued as a crime. The Uniform Crime Report includes offenses that are reported to law enforcement agencies at the city, country, and state levels. The National Crime Victimization Survey keeps records of those accidents that are not reported to the police and include detailed incidents of crime, victims involved in it, etc. Both the above reports contain details about the rape incidents and victims. However, more rapes are reported in the National Crime Victimization Survey than in the Uniform Crime Report. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Justice stated that only 31% of all rapes are reported to the authorities.
Various reasons are specified behind many rapes not being reported to the police. One of them is that it is sometimes related to personal matters. It so may happen also due to embarrassment or feeling of dishonor to the family. Whenever a victim gets raped it not only affects her physically but also mentally and leaves her in deep trauma. After the rape, the victim feels it quite awkward to share her story with the police, doctors, or prosecutors.
Rape at times is considered to be a scar on society. People are less likely to talk about sexual assault and rape as they feel it to be a shameful activity done. If the victim is raised in an environment where rape is not accepted by society then it becomes too difficult for the victim to narrate the whole incident before someone especially strangers. However, they have to speak about the whole incident before the police, doctors, prosecutors, and jury in some cases.
Sometimes rape happens between the victim and a stranger and sometimes the victim might know the offender. When the victim suffers injuries from the person she knew it becomes more traumatized to speak about it even before her family. They fear to complain about the offenders before anyone as they would have been threatened. A survey of college women showed that “38% reported sexual victimization that met the legal definition of rape or attempted rape, yet only 1 in 25, or 4% reported the incident to the police”.
Rape is something that is not consensual but the offender tries to prove it to be consensual. So it becomes quite dicey in this matter. Evidence plays a major role in rape cases. If any physical mark or fluid is present in the victim’s private parts then only it appears to be rape and also if it has been done against her will and consent. Will and then consent is the topmost priority if there is any violation of either of them then it will amount to rape.
It can become tough for a victim to come forward and share her story with others due to the large percentage of male law enforcement officers. So it becomes quite cruel and harsh on the part of the victim to share such intimate things with male officers. They have to remember again and again the incident and share it which directly causes pain and agony.
ANATOMY OF RAPE:
According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, Rape is illegal intercourse done between two persons without the will and consent of the other person.
According to the statistical view of recent times, two women are raped in the country every hour. Further studies also revealed that every 10 hours a girl within the age of 1-10 years is being raped in India.
The fact that so many rapes are occurring is because the rapists are not scared of laws implemented in society. No one can forget the horrendous rape of Nirbhaya, a 23 years paramedical student in a moving bus in Delhi. It was committed by six people out of which one was leniently given imprisonment under juvenile as he was a minor and another one committed suicide while being in jail. The rest four were hanged on 20th March 2020.
Not only the young ladies are being raped brutally but also innocent minds of 5 years or even 5 months tiny tots are also facing the same wrath. Also after the rape, it becomes quite difficult for giving any punishment to the rapist. So amendments need to be made more strongly and should be implemented in such a way to give stringent punishment to the convicts.
CAUSES OF RAPE:
It is the concern of the hour to ensure why rapes are rampant in the country. The first cause may be a lack of public safety. Women are not only unsafe outside their homes but also inside their homes. Most of the rapists are found to be close relatives or family friends of the victim. Also, rapes happen mostly in moving vehicles which puts forth the question of the effectiveness of the traffic system. Secondly, the lack of police officers also increases such cases. According to a report of Times Of India, there is only 1 officer for every 200 citizens.
Another cause of rape might be the slow rate of court proceedings. For a rape victim to get justice it takes years and years. We also can take the case of Nirbhaya who got justice after 8 long years.
In many backward areas, the victim is also put under great pressure to withdraw the complaint or charges held against the convict. Women’s clothing is also questioned in cases of rape. An attire can never define a girl’s will and consent to get herself raped. It reveals the true mentality of the people regarding rape.
WHAT MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN TO STOP RAPE:
Rape is such a heinous crime that obeys no boundaries of laws. No matter how many laws may be implemented, yet such heart-wrenching crime takes place. So laws for sexual assaults must be made more powerful and strict. The death penalty must be the only way to set a lesson for the rapist. A woman’s squad must be set up in every district to deal with such problems. Fast track courts must be established for faster justice to be given to the victim.
Further NGO’s can also lend their hands in such matters to help the victims in overcoming such physical and mental trauma. They should start setting up a Rape Crisis Centre where victims can approach by calling a toll- free number or by physically visiting the centres.
Women are considered to be the goddesses of the whole world. They play a pivotal role in a man’s life as a wife, daughter, sister, mother, etc. They are the creators of a man’s life. They deserve all the respect, love, affection, attention in their lives. Every day they face some violence in their lives still they manage to overcome it and outshine. Rape-like crimes affect them mentally as well as physically making them regret forever without any guilt on their part. It impedes them from taking participating in any democratic processes and post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. Many women lose their health, household, property everything. It shatters their family lives and professional as well. So RAPE OUGHT TO ESCAPE.
Swapna Sudha Sahoo
SOA National Institute of Law, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (Deemed to be University), Bhubaneswar, Odisha- 751003