Sexual Violence in India
Sexual violence is a problem faced by women and girls all across India. It is a challenge for the survivors of Sexual violence to get justice, and for minority community it’s even more challenging. Such crimes against children are also increasing, and have doubled in the past few years. According to studies four out of ten rape survivors in India are minors and more than 99.1% of cases remain unreported.
According to the recent data more than one lakh of cases are awaiting trial and the conviction rates remaining very low, the survivors of sexual violence who report the case out of community pressure tend to drop the case in majority of times. When such crimes take place in the marginalized community particularly Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims then the giving proper justice to the victim becomes more challenging.
Women’s have always been victimized of patriarchy, toxic masculinity and male entitlement. Whenever there is a crime committed against any woman then the survivor has always been blamed, shaming the survivor and her family members by the Indian Society, such aftereffects have made the Indian women more vulnerable to sexual violence, such shaming of the survivor ultimately leads to the silencing of the victim.
There are certain barriers to justice for the victims of sexual violence when one chooses to report the crime, especially from the families, they have a constant thought that by reporting such crimes the shame will come to their family instead, moreover pressure from the communities are also a factor, sexual harassment survivors are even forced to move out from their house, and if they deny to do so they are made to do so by harassing their family members.
Survivors of sexual violence are traumatized and need extra case and mental support to overcome the fear and fight back to receive justice, but due to certain pressure the victim remains traumatized and maximum of the times commit suicide. Victims from the marginalized community have low access to counseling services, legal support system due to which the filing of complaint is even delayed.
To add on these problems if the accused is from a powerful background then the case becomes further challenging which contributes to the fact of low conviction rates. The rape victims face numerous indignities in their attempt to obtain justice for themselves or family member who is a rape victim.
There have been certain effective changes in the concept of rape in the recent years, such as the absence of physical struggle doesn’t explain the fact that consent was there. According to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POSCO), minor rape survivors don’t require numerous court appearances to deliver testimony, even if the officers fail to register the complaint of doesn’t cooperate with the victim then will have to face the consequences and jail time.
Still the Indian Laws on rape requires reforms, for instance on marital rape which is still not an offence in the eyes of law. There has to be equality in the rights given to both the genders, the gaps in the rights exercised by both the gender has to be removed in order to value women in the eyes of the society no less than that of a man.
Awareness has to be increased among the sexual harassment survivors to overcome all the obstacles they face during the path of their justice. The gender discrimination faced in these marginalized community and oppressed classes have to be removed, sex education should be provided, punishment should be made more deterrent in order to curb such evil from our society.
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