Recently, Snehlata Shankhwar, a biology teacher from an Elite Government School Kendriya Vidyalaya, accused women of inviting rapes through their make-up and revealing attire. During her lecture, she mentioned that women like Jyoti Singh, the unfortunate victim of the Delhi rape case, give out an open invitation to men around, when they walk out at night. 

Well, she is not the first person to have made such ridiculous statements about rape. We have had many other politicians who have displayed their ignorance. 

Before entering into any further debate, here under are a few facts about the reason behind the sexual violence, as per clinical psychologist Nicholas Groth and other researchers.

  1. Anger Rape: For these rapists, sex is a weapon to defile and degrade the victim. Rape constitutes the ultimate expression of their anger and their goal is to humiliate and hurt their victim.
  2. Power Assertive Rape: For these rapists, rape becomes a way to compensate for their underlying feelings of inadequacy. The intent of the power rapist is to assert their competency. 
  3. Gang Rape: In our society, sexual aggression is often a defining characteristic of manhood in the group and is significantly related to the wish to be held in high esteem. Research also suggests that men with sexually aggressive peers are also much more likely to report coercive or enforced intercourse outside the gang context than men lacking sexually aggressive peers. Gang rape is often viewed by the men involved, and sometimes by others too, as legitimate, in that it is seen to discourage or punish perceived immoral behavior among women, such as wearing short skirts or frequenting bars.
  4. Sadistic Rape: For these rapists, they have a sexual association with anger and power so that aggression and the infliction of pain itself is eroticized. The offender finds the intentional maltreatment of their victim intensely gratifying and takes pleasure in the victim’s torment, pain, anguish, distress, helplessness, and suffering. He/she finds the victim struggling with him/her to be an erotic experience. Sadistic rape usually involves extensive, prolonged torture and restraint. The rapist may use some type of instrument or foreign object to penetrate his/her victim. Sexual areas of the victim’s body become a specific focus of injury or abuse.
  5. Sexual Gratification: Richard Felson, co-author of the book Aggression and Coercive Action: A Social Interactionist Perspective, believes that rape is an aggressive form of sexual coercion and the goal of rape is sexual satisfaction rather than power. Most rapists do not have a preference for rape over consensual sex.
  6. Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault: Some researchers have noted that alcohol may act as a cultural break time, providing the opportunity for antisocial behavior. People are more likely to act violently when drunk because they do not consider that they will be held accountable for their behavior. 
  7. Psychological Factors: Sexually violent men have been shown to be more likely to consider victims responsible for the rape and are less knowledgeable about the impact of rape on victims. Such men may misread cues given out by women in social situations and may lack the inhibitions that act to suppress associations between sex and aggression.

I guess these factors explain the reason why a rape victim can be a baby of a few days old, a 100-year-old woman or a street dog. Therefore it is not the attire, lipstick or hairstyle of the victim that invites rape; rather the ignorance of mental health, promotion of sexual violence through media, encouragement of wrong myths without verification, and social factors that encourages rape. 

As mothers, it is important for us to understand the real reason of crime.