Saturday, September 14, 2013

Why Sex Education is important in countries with a high Rape ratio over women's safety

Hello everyone,

While this blog is focused on sharing news and resources on Rape and sexual crimes. I couldn't resist sharing this picture and information I found below on Facebook. Here it is for you to read and share widely!

Have a super weekend!!!

The first response many give when asked about rape is 'death sentence for rapists'. While the individual who is sexually assaulted has all the right to argue for death penalty for rapists, the society must understand that there is absolutely no country that has prevented or eliminated rape by implementing death sentence.

What does not prevent rape:

1) Shouting death sentence for rapists every time a rape incident gets media publicity.

2) Making women cover themselves from head to feet.

3) Cultural worshiping of women as goddess and respectable beings.

What can prevent rape:

1) Implementing Sex Education in schools and colleges.

2) Taking action against educational institutions that punish boys and girls for talking to each other. These institutions are the reason many men dont even know how to approach a woman.

3) Teaching our children that no one is inferior because of their gender and making them understand the art of asking consent from the person they wish to have sex with.

The loudness of the mob voice that shouts for death penalty makes us blind to the various underlying social and cultural factors that produce rapists. If we can reach the childhood of these rapists and change their understanding of women and sex when they were kids, they would not turn into rapists in future. Lets try to create a social and educational system that does not produce rapists in the first place.

Source: Picture and text taken from Facebook

Friday, September 13, 2013

Judgment in Dec 16 gang-rape case: Salient features

NEW DELHI: While pronouncing the verdict, the fast-track court described the Dec 16 gang-rape as "premeditated" and "brutal" act.

Salient features of the judgment

* Delhi court convicts four accused of murder, gang-rape, unnatural offences, kidnapping, dacoity, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy, among others.
* The court describes the Dec 16 gang-rape as "premeditated" and "brutal" act.
* The court says the facts made all the accused liable for the "cold blooded murder" of the "defenceless victim".
* The injuries were caused in a "brutal manner" and the death was also not accidental, the court says in a 237 page judgment.
* The rods caused as many as "18 internal injuries to several organs" and the cause of death in the case was the direct consequence of the multiple injuries sustained by her.
* The victim was "humiliated" and beaten up inside the bus with the intention of causing death.
* Rejecting claim of Mukesh, that he was only driving the bus and had not participated in the gang rape, the court said they all are liable for gang rape committed with the victim
* The accused had knowledge of what they were doing, says court.
* Court says gang rapists tried to kill her male friend of the victim and says that his evidence is of vital importance in deciding the act of all the accused.
* Court praised Delhi Police investigators for their prompt and professional action.
* Court says dying declaration of victim was consistent, corroborative of the material aspects of the case.
* Court says the bus was on the road not for earning through dropping passenger to their destination bit the purpose was to commit the crime.

Timeline of Delhi gang rape case

* Dec 16, 2012: A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern raped by six people, including a juvenile, inside a moving bus in Delhi.

* Dec 17: Bus driver Ram Singh and two other accused are arrested.

* Dec 18: Protests over the incident, crowds clash with police in central Delhi. Fourth accused arrested.

* Dec 19: Two accused brought before a Delhi court. Accused Vinay tells court "hang me".

* Dec 21: Fifth accused, who was 17-and-half years old at the time of the crime, arrested from Anand Vihar in east Delhi while boarding a bus to flee to his hometown in Uttar Pradesh.

Sixth accused Akshay Kumar Singh nabbed from Bihar.

* Dec 22: Gang rape victim records statement before a sub-divisional magistrate.

* Dec 23: Fast track court set up by the Delhi High Court.

* Dec 24: The government announces setting up of a committee to suggest amendments to laws for speedy trials and enhanced punishment for criminals in rape cases.

* Dec 27: Victim airlifted to Singapore for treatment.

* Dec 29: She succumbs to her injuries at a Singapore hospital.

* Dec 30: The body of the gang rape victim flown back to Delhi, cremated.

* Jan 3, 2013: A case of rape, murder, kidnapping, destruction of evidence, and attempted murder filed against all the six accused in the case.

* Jan 7: Court orders in-camera trial.

* Jan 28: Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) declares that one of the accused is a minor.

* Feb 2: Fast track court paves the way for trial and charges five men for murder, gang rape and other offences.

* Feb 3: The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, issued. The relevant bill passed by the Lok Sabha March 19 and the Rajya Sabha March 21, making laws more stringent.

* Feb 5: Trial begins in the case and court records statements of accused.

* March 11: Accused Ram Singh found hanging in his Tihar Jail cell.

* May 17: Victim's mother appears as a prosecution witness before the trial court and says "give justice to my daughter".

* June 14: Juvenile accused turns 18 in custody. Age determined based on school certificate.

* July 11: Juvenile Justice Board in New Delhi defers verdict on the minor accused to July 25.

* July 25: Juvenile Justice Board defers verdict on minor accused till Aug 5.

* Aug 22: The Supreme Court allows the juvenile board to go ahead with pronouncing its verdict.

* Aug 31: Juvenile Justice Board sentences the minor accused to a three-year stay in a special home.

* Sep 3: Delhi court reserves its order.

* Sep 10: All the four accused Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh are held guilty on all counts. Court to pronounce quantum of punishment Sep 11.

* Sep 11: Delhi court defers verdict on the four men accused to Sep 13.

* Sep 13: The court sentences to death Mukesh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Kumar Singh.


Delhi gang rapists sentenced to death

The four men faced either life imprisonment or death by hanging [AFP]
An Indian court has sentenced four men to death for the gang rape and murder of a studen

Four men have been convicted over roles in rape and murder of 23-year-old woman in capital Delhi last year.

An Indian court has sentenced four men to death for the gang rape and murder of a student in the capital Delhi.
Friday's ruling came after her parents begged for the "cold-blooded" killers' execution.

Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Pawan Gupta were convicted on Tuesday in the December attack of the 23-year-old woman, a crime that unleashed a wave of public anger over the treatment of women in India.

The woman died two weeks after the attack of internal injuries.

Judge Yogesh Khanna said on Friday the case fell in the "rarest of rare category", rejecting pleas for lighter sentence.

'Cannot turn blind eye'

Khanna said the attack "shocked the collective conscience" of India, and that "courts cannot turn a blind eye" to such crimes.
"This case definitely falls in the rarest of rare categories and warrants the exemplary punishment of death," he added.

The four men faced either life imprisonment or death by hanging.

The men called out to reporters as police drove them into the courthouse complex before the sentencing hearing.
"Save us, brothers! Save us!" they could be heard shouting from the police van.

One of the convicted men, Vinay Sharma, broke down in tears and cried loudly as the sentence was announced.

Earlier, protesters outside the court had demanded that the four men must be hanged.

As the news broke, crowds inside the building and outside the courtroom roared with cheers and applauded the judgement.

The prosecution team congratulated each other, with lead lawyer Dayan Krishnan saying: "We did our job. We are happy with this sentence".

The father of the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the family was also satisfied as he left with his wife and sons.

"We are very happy. Justice has been delivered," he told reporters inside court flanked by his wife and sons.

Delhi rape suspects face death sentences

Juvenile convict was sentenced to three years in a correctional facility, the maximum allowed by law [AFP]

Four men will learn on Friday if they are to hang for the shocking murder and gang rape of an Indian 

Indian judge will announce if case of four men, accused for rape and murder, fulfills for meriting death sentence.

Four men will learn on Friday if they are to hang for the shocking murder and gang rape of an Indian student after her parents begged for the "cold-blooded" killers' execution.
Three days after finding the gang guilty of a murderous assault which sickened a nation, Judge Yogesh Khanna will announce whether it fulfils the "rarest of rare" criteria for crimes that merit capital punishment.

There has been a huge clamour for the four, Akshay Thakur, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Mukesh Singh to be executed for their attack on a 23-year-old physiotherapy student and her male companion on board a bus on December 16.
After prosecution lawyers argued on Wednesday the gang were guilty of a "diabolical" crime, the victim's mother implored the judge to hand down the death sentence.
"We beg the court that justice should be given to our daughter," said the mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her late daughter.
"It was not merely a mistake, they planned and killed her mercilessly," she told reporters.
The victim's father has said only the death penalty can bring the family some closure.
During Wednesday's hearing, defence lawyers argued Judge Khanna should resist "political pressure" and instead jail the gang for life, citing the youth of their clients who are all in their teens or 20s.
Rape cases increasing
Handing down his verdict at the end of a seven-month trial on Tuesday, Khanna found the men guilty of the "cold-blooded" murder of a "helpless victim" whose fight for life won her the nickname of Braveheart.
Feelings though are running high in a country disgusted by daily reports of gang rapes and sex assaults on children.
A total of 1,098 cases of rape have been reported to police in Delhi alone so far this year, according to figures in The Times of India on Friday.
That represents a massive increase on the 450 recorded in the same period last year, although campaigners say the rise is reflective of a greater willingness by victims to come forward after the December 16 attack.
Lawyers for the men have already said they will appeal the convictions in the Delhi High Court, which will spell years of argument and delays in India's notoriously slow legal system.
In appeal, the defence is likely to advocate lesser sentences for some of the gang, and argue it was a "spur of the moment" crime and not premeditated.
There was widespread anger after a juvenile who was convicted last month for his role in the bus attack was sentenced to just three years in a correctional facility, the maximum allowed by law.
Rattled by the mass protests, the government rushed through new anti-rape laws and ordered the trial be held in a special fast-track court.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Delhi rape sentencing: A look at death penalty in India

India: Four men convicted on Tuesday of gang-raping and murdering a young  woman in December face sentencing on Friday. The men, including a part-time bus driver, were joy-riding through New Delhi on a bus on the night of December 16 when they lured the 23-year-old woman and a male friend of hers into boarding. They then beat the friend, took turns raping the woman and violated her savagely with an iron rod. She died two weeks later of internal injuries. They now face the possibility of execution or life in prison. 

The prosecutor asked Judge Yogesh Khanna on Wednesday to sentence the men to death, calling the crime barbaric. Their lawyers have called for prison sentences, citing their poverty, poor education and lack of criminal history. Representational image. AFP -India’s legal system allows for execution in what the Supreme Court calls “the rarest of the rare cases.” What defines those cases remains highly debated, but the only executions in recent years have been of convicted terrorists. 

The vast majority of the 100-150 death sentences handed down each year are eventually commuted to life in prison. India is thought to have carried out about 50 executions since independence in 1947. -All execution orders must be confirmed by India’s High Court, and cases can also be appealed to the Supreme Court. Final appeals for clemency are made to India’s president. The office of the current president, Pranab Mukherjee, says it does not keep track of how many clemency appeals it receives or signs.

 Media reports indicate he has rejected the clemency pleas of 17 people, and commuted one execution. That hard-line attitude is widely seen as an effort by the Congress party, which faces national elections next year, not to look weak on terrorism. Mukherjee is a long-time Congress leader. -For nearly a decade, India had an unofficial moratorium on executions. That ended in November 2012 with the execution of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunmen in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Two months later, Mohammad Afzal Guru, convicted in a deadly 2001 attack on India’s Parliament complex, was also hanged. Both of the executions were done secretly, without any public notice. If the four men are sentenced to hang, it is unclear when they would be executed. -Executions are done by hanging in India, carried out in prisons across the country. Many of the ropes used are made by prisoners at a jail in eastern India.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

India prosecutors seek death for Delhi rapists, defense urges mercy

By Sanjeev Miglani and Sruthi Gottipat

A protester threatens to throw her sandal at A.P. Singh (not in picture), defence lawyer of one of the four men convicted of raping and murdering a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist last December, during a protest outside a court in New Delhi September 11, 2013. Indian prosecutors demanded on Wednesday the death penalty for the four men, saying it was important to send a signal to the country that such crimes would not be tolerated. REUTERS-Adnan Abidi

- Indian prosecutors demanded on Wednesday the death penalty for four men convicted of raping and murdering a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist last December, saying it was important to send a signal to the country that such crimes would not be tolerated.
"The common man will lose faith in the judiciary if the harshest punishment is not given," special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan told trial judge Yogesh Khanna, who will sentence the men on Friday.
Indeed, outside the court, popular opinion on social media sites and comments by top politicians suggest many Indians want to see the men hanged for a crime the brutality of which shocked even in a country where sex crimes against women are rife.
Social commentators say the attack has forced Indians to confront an uncomfortable truth - that social change, in particular patriarchal attitudes towards women, has not kept pace with rapid economic growth over the past decade.
The case has resonated with thousands of urban Indians who took to the streets in fury after the attack. The victim became a symbol of the daily dangers women face in a country where a rape is reported on average every 21 minutes and acid attacks and incidents of molestation are common.
Bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh, gym instructor Vinay Sharma, fruit-seller Pawan Gupta, and unemployed Mukesh Singh stood at the back of the courtroom surrounded by policemen. They showed no emotion as Krishnan described their crime as "diabolical" and called for them to be hanged.
The parents of the victim, who may not be identified for legal reasons, sat just feet away from the men. After the hearing, her father bluntly told reporters: "They finished my daughter, they deserve the same fate."
The men were found guilty on Tuesday of luring the woman and a male friend onto a bus as the pair returned home from watching a movie at a shopping mall on December 16.
As the bus drove through the streets of the capital, the men repeatedly raped the victim before dumping her and her friend, naked and semi-conscious, on the road.
The men used a metal rod and their hands to pull the woman's organs from her body after raping her, Krishnan said. Her injuries were so severe that she died in hospital in Singapore two weeks after the attack.
"This is an extreme case of depravity," Krishnan said, likening the woman's injuries to someone "cutting open a fruit".
All four of the men denied the charges. Three of them said they were never on the bus while a fourth admitted driving the vehicle but said he knew nothing of the crime. The prosecution said mobile phone records, CCTV footage, DNA evidence and bite marks on the woman's body placed the men at the scene.
India's interior minister, Sushilkumar Shinde said the death penalty was assured in the case, while a senior leader of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sushma Swaraj, said it was important to "set an example for the future".
Under Indian law, the death penalty is reserved for the "rarest of rare" cases. Even when it is imposed, the authorities rarely carry out executions.
"Hang them, hang them," chanted a small group of protesters outside the court.
There are 477 prisoners on death row in India, according to the interior ministry. Last year, India carried out its first hanging in eight years when it executed the lone survivor of a squad ofPakistan-based militants who attacked Mumbai in 2008, killing 166 people.
Inside the court, lawyers for the four men pleaded for mercy and repeatedly highlighted the reluctance of Indian judges in the past to impose the death sentence.
Judges should not be bloodthirsty, said lawyer Vivek Sharma, who represents 19-year-old Gupta, the youngest of the four on trial. "You can't give capital punishment on demand."
Sharma said his client had not taken part in the rape or torture of the woman. He asked the court to take into account that Gupta was the sole breadwinner for his family and had to take care of his elderly parents and brother and sister.
A.P. Singh, lawyer for Kumar Singh and Sharma, said the death penalty was a "primitive and cold blooded and simplistic response to complex issues". He painted his clients as downtrodden who deserved a second chance.
Mukesh Singh, who said he had been driving the bus at the time of the attack, should not face the same penalty as his co-accused, his lawyer V.K. Anand told the court.
"At best, he can be held for aiding the others. Punish him, but punish him keeping in mind he was only driving the bus."
Women's rights groups have welcomed the guilty verdict but cautioned against giving the death sentence, saying that research across the world has shown that capital punishment does not act as a deterrent and the case should not set a precedent for all rapes to be punished with hanging.
If the men do receive the death penalty, India's high court will still have to confirm the sentences. The four are expected to file appeals, so proceedings could still go on for months or even years.
(This story has been refiled to remove reference to alias of one of the convicted men in paragraph 20)

(Additional reporting by Suchitra Mohanty and Anurag Kotoky; Writing by Ross Colvin; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Delhi gang rape verdict on September 10

A fast track court in Delhi on Tuesday said it will give its judgment on September 10 in the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape case in which four accused are facing trial.
Additional Session Judge Yogesh Khanna reserved the order after defence counsel concluded their arguments. The prosecution ended its arguments earlier.
The case relates to a 23-year-old physiotherapist, who was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus by five men and a juvenile, after she boarded the vehicle with her male friend.
The victim later succumbed in a Singapore hospital, where she had been taken for treatment for her injuries.
One of the accused allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged.
The juvenile was sentenced to three years stay at reform home by a Juvenile Justice Board on August 31.

Punjab minor’s rapists get life imprisonment till death

Believed to be the first judgment of its kind in the country after the amendment in the anti-rape laws, a Punjab court on Tuesday sentenced two men to life imprisonment till death for a minor’s rape.
Additional District and Sessions Judge J.S. Bhinder in Hoshiarpur town sentenced Daljit Singh and Amarjit Singh to “undergo imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of the convicts’ natural life”.
The court also imposed a penalty of Rs. 50,000 each on both the convicts. They were also sentenced to undergo five years rigorous imprisonment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012. Both sentences would run concurrently.
The victim, a five-year-old, had gone missing from her house in Ibrahimpur village on February 18. Her mother traced her to the house of village resident Daljit Singh. The mother found the child being sexually molested by the two men.
Both of them were later arrested by police and charged for rape and other offences.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Indian guru arrested for raping minor, pleads innocent - report

Author: Nita Bhalla

Indian guru arrested for raping minor, pleads innocent - report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 2 Sep 2013 03:25 PM
Police escort spiritual leader Asaram Bapu (C) outside an airport after his arrest in Jodhpur, in India's desert state of Rajasthan.
NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A popular Indian spiritual leader who sparked controversy earlier this year when he said a gang rape and murder victim should share the blame for her assault has been arrested for raping a minor at his ashram, the Times of India reported on Monday.
Asaram Bapu, 72 – who has millions of followers in India and overseas – was charged on August 21 with the rape and sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in the western city of Jodhpur, but he evaded arrest for several days citing ill health and other reasons.
Medical tests conducted on the guru – who said he was impotent and could not have committed the assault – found him to be capable of the rape, the newspaper said.
"A potency test was conducted on him, which confirmed that he was strong enough to commit the crime of sexual assault and rape on the 16-year-old girl," Jodhpur's Police Commissioner Biju George Joseph was quoted as saying.
The alleged assault took place on August 15 when the girl, who was studying at a school owned by Asaram, was taken by her parents to the guru's ashram near Jodhpur after she became ill. The girl alleged he took her into his room and raped her, threatening to have his guards kill her family if she refused.
Asaram, who has denied the charges, has been remanded in custody for 14 days. Scores of his supporters have staged demonstrations in cities such as Mumbai and New Delhi claiming the guru is being framed. Some of the protests have turned violent.
Right-wing Hindu political groups have also opposed his arrest saying the allegations were an attack on "Hindu culture".

Asaram caused outrage in January when he suggested a 23-year-old student who died after she was beaten and raped on a moving bus in New Delhi and left bleeding on a highway in December should share the blame for the attack. She died in a Singapore hospita two weeks after the assault from internal injuries.
"Guilt is not one-sided," the guru had told his followers, adding that if the student had pleaded with her six attackers in God's name and told them she was of the "weaker sex", they would have relented.

Monday, September 2, 2013

India Convicts Youngest Delhi Gang Rape Defendant

Students in Ahmedabad, India, hold candles as they pray during a candlelight vigil for a gang rape victim who was assaulted in New Delhi. (Photo: Reuters)
NEW DELHI — An Indian juvenile court on Saturday handed down the first conviction in the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a moving New Delhi bus, convicting a teenager of rape and murder and sentencing him to three years in a reform home, lawyers said.
The victim’s parents denounced the sentence, which was the maximum the defendant faced. The family had long insisted the teen, who was 17 at the time of the December attack and is now 18, be tried as an adult—and thus face the death penalty—insisting he was the most brutal of the woman’s attackers.
“He should be hanged irrespective of whether he is a juvenile or not. He should be punished for what he did to my daughter,” the victim’s mother, Asha Devi, told reporters after the verdict was announced.
Indian law forbids the publication of the teen’s name because he was sentenced in a juvenile court.
The attack, which left the 23-year-old victim with such extensive internal injuries that she died two weeks later, sparked protests across the country and led to reforms of India’s antiquated sexual violence laws. The government, facing immense public pressure, had promised swift justice in the case.
The convicted teen was one of six people accused of tricking the woman and her male companion into boarding an off-duty bus Dec. 16 after they had seen an afternoon showing of “Life of Pi” at an upscale shopping mall. Police say the men raped the woman and used a metal bar to inflict massive internal injuries to her. They also beat her companion. The victims were dumped naked on the roadside, and the woman later died from her injuries in a Singapore hospital.
The victim’s father said the family was deeply disappointed with the sentence.
“This is completely unacceptable to us,” Badrinath Singh said. “We are not satisfied with this outcome. He is virtually being set free. This is very wrong.”
“No family should have a daughter if this is the fate that lies ahead for women. In this country, it is crime to be born a girl,” he said.
Indian law forbids the publication of the names of rape victims, even if they die.
S.K. Singh, a lawyer for the victim’s family, said they would challenge the juvenile court’s verdict in a higher court.

“We will also seek a review of the man’s age by a medical panel, since we believe he was not a juvenile when the incident took place,” he said.

In India, especially in rural areas, many people do not have their births properly registered, and school certificates are used as proof of age.

Singh and the defendant’s lawyer, Rajesh Tewari, both confirmed the conviction and sentence.
Reporters were not allowed inside the courtroom. Scores of television crews lined up on the road outside the court building beginning early Saturday, waiting for the verdict.

Four of the other defendants are being tried in a special fast-track court in New Delhi and face the death penalty. The sixth accused was found dead in his jail cell in March. The court is expected to hand down the rest of the verdicts in September.

The convicted defendant was tried as a minor on charges including murder and rape. The time he has spent in a juvenile home since he was arrested in December will count toward his sentence, Tewari said.
The attack set off furious protests across India about the treatment of women in the country and led to an overhaul of sexual assault laws.

A government panel set to suggest reforms to sexual assault laws rejected calls to lower the age at which people can be tried as adults from 18 to 16.

In July, India’s top court also refused to reduce the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16 years. However, it later agreed to hear a new petition seeking to take the “mental and intellectual maturity” of the defendant into account, and not just age.