Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Awareness, activism opens floodgate for rape complaints
NAGPUR: It's raining rape complaints at police stations in the city and rural areas. The graph of registration of such offences, along with that of the outraging of modesty of a woman, has suddenly taken an upswing.
Whether it's activism or awareness, a comparison of the crime statistics of the first three months of 2011 and the ongoing year have shown that rape offences have almost doubled and outraging of modesty risen by three times.
Till March this year, the city police have recorded 20 offences of rape and another 51 for outraging of modesty. In rural, it's 19 and 50, respectively. In 2011, the count stood at 9 and 7 in the city, and 11-18 in rural.
Social worker Madhuri Sakulkar, president of Bharatiya Stree Shakti, said that the uproar following the Delhi gang rape in a bus in December has helped lift the stigma attached to the sexual abuse against women. "The women have realized that speaking up is the answer to the issue and not shedding silent tears. Police too have changed their approach by not discouraging registration of offences," she said.
Last year till March, city police had registered 12 cases of rape and 22 of outraging modesty of a woman. In rural, it was 6-14.
Former assistant commissioner of police Madhuri Godse said that society is ailing with sickening mentality and low respect of women's dignity due to imbalanced exposure to explicit materials on latest gadgets. "There is no other way but to initiate a moral cleansing from home particularly with the young adults," she said.
Former family court judge Meera Khadakkar said that the increase in complaints can be linked to the sustained awareness and fights of the pressure groups which are hitting the roads crying foul against atrocities against women.
NCP city women president Nutan Rewatkar, who helped two rape victims file complaints this year, said that the recent incidents underline the need for an exclusive police station for women. "Not the law but punishments should be drastic and quick," she said.
Additional public prosecutor advocate Jyoti Vajani, who has helped several rape victims get justice, stated that law cannot help until morality is drilled into the next generation. "We cannot afford acquittals in rape cases. Acquittals boost the morals of the perpetrators who would go on victimizing women. The prosecutions, public prosecutors, police and judges all need to play their respective roles with sensitivity and responsibility so that all these factors can come together to bring justice to a devastated soul," she said.