Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shannon Werbeck

The 2012 Delhi Gang Rape
On December 16th 2012, a 23 year old women, Jyoti Singh, and her male friend boarded a bus to return home from seeing a film at 9:30pm. They were told this bus was going towards their destination and when they boarded the bus there was only six others on the bus. The six men taunted the couple asking why they were alone at such a late hour. The men then beat the women’s friend and dragged the women to the back of the bus. They beat her and after they each raped her they stuck a medal rod in her pulling out her intestines while the bus driver continued to drive.  After the beating and rape ended, the men threw the women and her friend out of the bus and drove away. Around 11pm the partially clothed victims were found on the side of the road by a passerby and he called the police. The police arrived and transported the couple to a nearby hospital where the female victim was given emergency treatment and placed on mechanical ventilation. Her injuries consisted of numerous bite marks all over her body and massive damage to her genitals, uterus and intestines. After undergoing many surgeries, Jyoti was eventually transported to a multi-organ specialty hospital where she passed away on December 29, 2012.
            This is an issue of justice because this is just one instance of rape in India.  In the documentary “India’s Daughter”, it states that a woman is raped every 20 minutes in India. When a woman gets raped in India they are usually the ones who get blamed. In this instance, the six men who raped Jyoti stated that they were “teaching her a lesson” because she was out after 6:30 at night with someone who was not part of her family. Many women are raped in India because men know that women will not say anything and even if they do they are not taken seriously. In fact, in India rape is considered shameful and if you are raped you might as well be dead.
            After the rape and death of Jyoti Singh there was much controversy on this issue. People protested throughout India resulting in police having to intervene, throwing tear gas, arresting and spraying protesters with water. There were even online petitions as well. People wanted the six men who committed this crime dead and they wanted stricter laws for the protection of women. People were also upset that one of the men was a juvenile and only received a three year sentence in a reform facility. One of the men hung himself in jail and the remaining four men were sentenced to death by hanging. However, these men have not been put to death yet and are able to appeal the Supreme Court’s verdict. The Supreme Court has yet to pass a judgment on the original verdict sentencing.
            The government’s response to these protests was several new assault laws and six new fast-track courts created specifically for rape prosecutions. However, in 2012 only one case conviction was obtained among the 706 rape cases filed. In 2013, there were 501 allegations of harassment and 64 rape cases reported; however, only four inquiries were launched. These “fast- track courts” seem to be moving at a slow pace. Also, there are only six fast-track courts and too many criminals are finding it easier to escape identification by preying on younger girls.
There are many actions that need to be taken to provide justice on this issue of the way women are treated in India. First of all, the fast-track courts need to work at an actual fast rate. Also, more needs to be done to change the mentality of how men view women in India. Men and women need to be more educated on issues of violence and gender stereotyping. They also need to be educated on women’s rights and the communities need to work together to develop a gender sensitive society. Most women do not even know their own rights. Yes, India has made several new assault laws; however, more needs to be done to protect the women of India. Punishing the perpetrators is important; however, working as a society to keep women safe is much more important. Police need to intervene more; however, many police have also raped women.
My classmates can do many things to encourage actions needed. First of all, being educated on this issue is the first step to helping. There are many online resources that enable students to learn about this issue. BBC has a documentary on this case that is very interesting: http://urbanasian.com/featured/2015/03/bbc-releases-indias-daughter-on-youtube/ . There is also a petition they can sign at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/petition-to-give-justice-to-delhi-rape-victim.html.

"BBC Releases India's Daughter on YouTube!" UrbanAsian. N.p., 05 Mar. 2015. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.
"India Fails to Silence a BBC Film Exposing the New Delhi Bus Gang Rape."Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2015.
"Death Penalties for Delhi Gang Rape." BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.
"Death Penalties for Delhi Gang Rape." BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

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