Friday, November 01, 2013

Blog 8: Gang Rape in India, Routine and Invisible

A twenty-two year old photojournalist was raped repeatedly on Thursday by five men. This incident occurred in Mumbai, India late Thursday evening in a Mill complex. At the time, she was walking with her male colleague when they were both confronted and beaten by the five men. This was not the first time these men had committed this horrendous crime but this was the first time it had been reported to police officials.  In total, these men had raped five people; a woman who worked as a scavenger in a garbage dump, a sex worker, a call center worker, a transvestite, and the photojournalist. The victims of the Thursday’s crime were left by the railroad tracks and were threatened by the men who said they would upload video of the attack on the internet if they reported the crime. The two immediately caught a cab to the hospital where they reported the crime.

This is a sociological created problem affecting many families in India where this kind of crime often occurs but is hardly reported. The view and definition of rape in this culture highly impacts the incident of rape in their society. In a survey of more than 10,000 men carried out in six Asian countries, India not among them, found that when the word “rape” was not used as part of a questionnaire, more than one of ten men admitted to forcing sex on a woman who was not their partner. When asked why the overwhelming majority said it was “entitlement” and their motivation was “entertainment seeking.” The culture of rape also puts blame on the victim instead of the perpetrator(s) and this was also clearly seen in the article where one of the criminals’ mother partially defended her son by saying that the girl was also to blame for wearing provocative clothes and being out late at night. Lastly, these men all came from a very low socioeconomic status where it made it easy for them to commit the crime because they said they felt like they had nothing to lose. These men were unemployed or working in harsh conditions and only getting paid as little as $4 a day. Although women are the main victims, the whole family is impacted. After being raped, these women are no longer seen as desirable which makes it hard for her to find a husband. This leaves a burden on many families who often depend on the money they will receive from their daughter's finance when they marry them off. 

Karina Velazquez
3:20 pm

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