Here I am talking about another burning topic, rape and sexual abuse. In the following paragraphs I would try to explain why do they take place and if it is possible to stop them.
Since past few days, I have observed almost everyone screaming about the recent documentary by BBC on the Nirbhaya gangrape case. Frankly, it is heart wrenching how some are protesting against the restraint on freedom of speech and others are talking about insult to the nation’s daughter but no one cares about the underlying issue, our society’s attitude towards women. I haven’t watched the documentary yet so, I won’t comment about the documentary. However, as far as my experience goes media won’t do anything for common good. Still, the video might be an eye opener.
I am not here to talk about the video or whether it should have been made. Lots of documentaries have been made in the past and one such won’t change anything other than TRPs. A few days back I found another article about rape cases by a fellow blogger. I had hoped he would write sensibly about the problem. Alas, all he ended up doing is put up an image of his residence state and how the administration has helped curb the sexual abuse of women. He went on and on how the centre is trying to malign the image of the state and how the state government has taken solid steps in reducing the crime. I would have supported his blog if it was entirely true. Unfortunately, it was not. He mentioned a table from National Crime Records Bureau that showed the state in better light but conveniently ignored all the other data that showed the state was not performing at all regarding crimes against women. He lied through his teeth just like any other media person.
I haven’t found any sensible article on the issue of rape or sexual exploitation till date. They are either about legal cases or are filled with sympathy for the victims. I am not saying the victims have not suffered. As a matter of fact I have personal experience and believe me even mild sexual abuse scars one for life. When I said mild I didn’t mean it was not hurtful. The bigger question is why such incidents happen? If that is understood only then a solution can be obtained.
I followed a number of rape cases after the incident of 16th December 2012. Finally, I was able to arrive at a conclusion. First, I should make it clear there are certain aspects which do not influence rape(the following observations have been made keeping India in mind):
1. The dress a woman is wearing: As far as Indian statistics go, in most number of rape cases, the women were wearing sarees.
2. The time of the day she is outside her home: Quite a number of rapes took place during daytime.
3. Her age: Even babies aged 6 months have been raped.
4. Her looks: 80 year old women have been raped too.
5. Whether she is with a stranger: Most of the crimes against women have been committed by someone in their family. This doesn’t mean arbitrary strangers are trustworthy.
I hope I have cleared a lot of misconceptions about rape and sexual abuse. Now, coming back to the underlying reason why I am writing this article, why do they happen. I have asked myself the above question a number of times. I also tried asking myself if I would ever sexually abuse a woman. The answer was, NO. That is right, I won’t ever be able to do it. Then I asked why? The reason was simple, my upbringing. My parents have always taught me to never harm a woman. Actually, they taught me never to harm anyone but the stress was always on women. I had assumed it was the same in every family. I was so wrong.
Over the years I have come across a lot of people and seen a lot of families. I witnessed inequality between men and women practised in most of them. The girl child being scolded for trying to correct her brother’s mistake, the girl’s rights being ignored be it right to education or rights as a human being, male child being given more importance than the girl. There are loads of such instances, and each of them disgust me. Most of the abortions in my country are done because the baby supposed to be born is a female. Most families still believe that it is useless to educate a girl. The girl does not deserve an education because finally she would be going to another home. Whenever a crime against a woman is committed, the victim is blamed. Some have even said boys are supposed to do this, it is the women who should take care of themselves.
Most parents don’t care how their boys behave with women. It is enough for them if he earns a lot of money. I have a simple question, if a boy is never taught that it is wrong to disrespect or harm women how would he ever be a good man? Why won’t he just go and abuse some girl? I know people will ask what is the fault of the parents. I have a counter question for them, why do you check someone’s character by asking about his parents and his immediate family? Every human being is a reflection of his or her parents and how they brought him or her up.
I think I have established the point that when a rape takes place it is not just the fault of the rapist but also his parents. They have failed in their duties as good parents. As I was saying earlier, I followed a number of rape cases. I tried to understand the psychology of the rapists. Most of them were brought up in an environment where women were abused and ill treated on a regular basis. They learnt through their parents, women are supposed to be abused, it was their right to abuse women and men can have anything they want even if it is wrong. The outcome is they don’t have a sense of right or wrong. They would hurt anyone innocent just for fun. They are just used to violence and they feel it is their right to abuse women. Many would say such behaviour can be corrected through counselling but I don’t agree with them. A certain habit that has been inculcated since birth cannot be corrected through any amount of counselling. The abnormality is permanent and thus they need to be put down. But that is not going to solve anything till the parents understand their responsibilities properly. The issue of sexual abuse is a social evil along with being a heinous crime and thus cannot be corrected merely by harsh punishments.