The public gang rape of a 23 year old women in New Delhi on a moving bus last week has sparked outrage and protests across the nation. Last week’s case was brutal, leaving the women in intensive care for days, and leading to the arrest of 6 people including the buses driver and a minor. Unfortunately, this rape was just the straw that broke the camels back. According to CNN,
“official data show that rape cases have jumped almost 875% over the past 40 years — from 2,487 in 1971 to 24,206 in 2011.
New Delhi alone reported 572 rapes last year and more than 600 in 2012.”
875% jump in rape cases? That is horrifying, and is leaving many women living in fear. Women, college students, and others have gathered across the nation to protest what they claim as a “failure of democracy” in protecting the rights and safety of women. The protests have been met with police retaliation, including water cannons and baton use on protesters. However, in speaking for the government India’s Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde stated that:
“”(The) government shares the widespread concern and support that has been expressed throughout society for the girl who has so suffered. Government also respects the right of legitimate protest,”
“At the same time, there is need to exercise calm at this juncture and for everyone to work together to improve the safety and security environment.””
Indian Human Rights groups are calling for action from the India government, and perhaps it is time for international groups to follow suite. Patriarchal social trends across India likely do have a part in these increased numbers, but if the government is capable of acting to establish safety and preventative measures these rape incidences could be effectively addressed.
By Georgianna Reilly, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer
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