Every time we hear a blood curdling incident of rape with intricate details of atrocities, our heart aches, we feel a sudden surge of emotions towards the victim, share it on social media sometimes, sign petitions and then gradually move on with our lives. Few days or months later, we once again come across a similar incident, we repeat more or less the same things as mentioned above.
It is a cycle that has been going on for decades. The most unfortunate fact here is that despite the worldwide attention to many of these cases, the numbers are not seeming to go down, nor is their any decline in the cruelties at the end of rapists.
Is their something we are missing here? Don’t we need to think beyond the incident, into the lives and mind of these rapists? What made them follow this path (almost aware that it is a crime)? What is making them fearless against the aftermath of a rape?
What makes a rapist fearless?
The rage of revenge
In the rural areas, many cases happen as a result of family or communal disputes. And women carrying the fragile and powerless image for centuries are seemingly easy targets for the purpose of revenge. Additionally they also carry the burden of the being the ‘pride and honor of the family’ which again puts them in peril.
Like a hawk, these rapists eye on the women of other families and then attack as and when possible. And then the abhorrence and frustration as a result of enmity between families is taken out on the victim resulting in a brutal rape sometimes taking away their lives. The anger in these cases overpowers the rationality of their minds, when all they focus on is ‘revenge’.
Power against justice
The corruption and the possibility of having a “case closed” is another reason why these rapists overlook the law and order. The strong background of rapists in terms of wealth, political connections and affluency of their families give them further courage to disregard the fear of being punished by law.
A history of unreported incidents in cases where victims belonged to a poor background is a further fuel to their confidence in the direction of remaining unharmed despite committing this heinous crime. In other words they see no consequences of this horrendous act on their lives which makes them fearless.
Low or no education
Another factor to note here is that the brutality of a rape is inversely proportional to the education level of the rapist. Less educated a rapist, more animalistic his behavior is. These rapists are stupid enough to believe that burning a body, cutting the tongue of the victim or damaging her eyes would save them from being identified or punished.
Education is a basic right as well as a necessity to raise sane individuals but sadly there are still regions in the world where it is not as widespread as it should be. Education is known to strengthen one’s conscience and morals, keeping them humanly. The respect towards one’s rights emanates from a good education combined with a good upbringing.
Most of these criminals have a disturbed childhood and a rough upbringing mending them into criminals in later years of their lives.
Acceptability of rape victim
In narrow minded societies, this is another challenge a rape victim has to deal with. This is one of the biggest reasons why millions of rapes go unreported in the world every year only supporting the ill intentions of rapists.
Looking back at the 2002 abduction and rape of Elizabeth Smart (14 years old then) in the USA which gained tremendous media attention across the nation, she was held captive for 9 long months and raped every single day (sometimes 4 times a day as she reported). A fortunate turn in the tale reunited her with her family, freeing her from the shackles of abductor. Now 32 years old, she is living a happy and content life as a mother and a wife with a promising career (also a TEDEX speaker).
Thanks to the American society who treated her as a heroic survivor and made easier for her to move on. But sadly it is not easy everywhere to lead a normal life after being a rape victim. The mental trauma that follows the incident is worsened when the society looks lowly at them instead of supporting them.
In the much talked about Nirbhaya rape case, victim’s mother made a powerful statement when she pointed out that why should the name of her brave daughter be hidden when she has done nothing shameful. And thus they chose to make it public against the usual practice of hiding victim’s name, as per Indian law.
What is the solution?
Here is the set of proposals I sincerely wish governments, policy makers, academicians and people in power can consider, along with few points meant for all of us (we, the society).
- Compulsory education for everyone. Making more and more efforts in this direction and making education more affordable so that it remains in every family’s reach. We also need to do our part by spreading awareness in our communities (for eg. our household help).
- Self defense techniques be taught at schools, every girl should know how to protect her.
- Corruption is the root cause of various sufferings. It crushes law and order, young administration should vow against it and better vigilance be stressed across governmental machinery.
- Fast track justice supported by more recruitment of judges everywhere (there is still immense scope to make it faster). Justice delayed is justice denied
- A nationwide support program for rape victims be established and awareness be spread about it.
- We all need to be alert and report small crimes too. A history of escape fuels the confidence of a criminal to attempt bigger crimes.
- Disregard the term ‘juvenile’ for rape cases. Rape should equal punishment, no matter the age of rapist.
LET US PLEDGE TO SUPPORT IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE IN STOPPING A RAPE FROM HAPPENING AND WIPE AWAY THE STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH RAPES.
And lastly I urge you to share this article. I never asked it previously, because it never felt as important as now. As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comment section.
You may like to read: And this is how a rapist was born.