Rape is one of the most heinous crimes done by one human to control, dominate and force the other to their own will. It is a prevalent world-wide. Whatever reasons might be behind it – social, religious or in wars, it carries the same crushing shame, anger and emotional trauma.
Let us see the following figures :-
Every 26 minutes a woman in India is molested. Every 34 minutes a woman is raped. Every 42 minutes a woman is sexually harassed. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. Every 93 minutes a woman is killed. And those are just the cases that are reported.
As for the cases that are reported, very few get punishment. Often the woman is bombarded with all sorts of humiliating questions and the cases are withdrawn midway. If the perpetrator is influential and rich, its assured that justice will be thrown out of the window. This has been proved time and again. We cannot cut down the trauma caused by the actual rape but we can give the emotional support that the victim needs and see that rapist is behind the bars. This would at least result in the reduction of rape crimes in the country. But story is very different.
Now read this :-
A very shocking verdict came from a judge in Tamil Nadu, who set aside the conviction of a rapist because he offered Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the victim. The verdict delivered a month ago is a trauma to the victim. Now question arises can a convicted rapist be let off because he is rich? Is this not a total travesty of the justice. How can a convicted rapist be acquitted because he agrees to pay compensation? Does that means anyone with money can rape with impunity? We might as well dispense with trials, courts, lawyers and judges. Why bother with the legal system? Just put the price list of rape. It is shocking that for a criminal offence a person could be let off lightly.
I am also amazed that no one, be it social organizations, women groups, media has picked it up except an English daily.
In India more than 80% rape cases go unreported because the victim is looked upon as if she is at fault and somehow asked for it. Not many people have faith in the law system and as a result the victim has to suffer all by herself and to see her rapist roaming around freely. The very few go against all odds for justice and then if they are treated like this, the situation cannot be more worst for women in India.
The judiciary needs an overhaul and more stringent laws are required to curb violence and crime against women. Rape should be considered at par with murder. The necessary reforms are very essential so that rich men cannot consider law as their property. Does this mean that such rulings only send signals to the society that our women can be raped, murdered and you can pay the compensation to buy your freedom??