Millennium Post

When will our women feel safe?

It is exceedingly unfortunate that several cases of rape have taken place in recent days, including that of gang-rape. The incidents that have taken place in Manipal, Mumbai and Gurgaon are absolutely revolting in the violation and degradation of women. Our cities and towns remain unsafe for them and they continue to face situations of violence despite the periodic pious pronouncements that emanate from the government about women’s safety after each such outrage. Gang-rape is a particularly vicious type of assault that is particularly intimidating and humiliating for the victim. It can cause extreme trauma and leave the victim mercilessly in the grip of a feeling of deep helplessness. The last year saw several such heinous outrages in several parts of the country but particularly in the national capital of Delhi in the months of November and December.  Not one but several heinous gang-rapes had taken place with many of the victims sustaining life-threatening injuries. Quite a few of the perpetrators escaped the long arm of the law. The government had made a huge song and dance at this time, even sending a victim abroad for treatment but all after the event as it had taken hardly any steps to promote women’s safety before it. The government has even proposed several changes in the law to make the crime of rape a more serious offence but these seem absolutely useless in their ability to prevent crime against women.

Typically, there are moments of screaming outrage immediately after these rapes but within a few days they were forgotten.  Sadly, many of those in government and elsewhere, who should know better, continue to blame the women for provoking these incidents. It seems lost upon the government that it is its duty to protect women irrespective of the exercise of their choice and their freedom in jobs, the manner of dress and lifestyle. The government seems to be barking up a wrong tree. It seems absolutely clueless about the causes of the spiraling crime rates against women and is unable to take protective steps. The policing in our towns and cities is abysmal. There is hardly any concept of women’s safety and police departments, such as in Delhi, continue to reel out statistics and advertisements in their defence even as these gruesome crimes do not end. It is time that this outrage against women was seriously confronted.
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