You can not blame women for being raped- The dignity March - Seeker's Thoughts

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You can not blame women for being raped- The dignity March


India is the most dangerous for sexual violence against women, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation 2018 survey.


India’s National Crime Record Bureau Reported 338,954 crimes against women – including 38,947 rapes – in 2016, the most recent government data available.

Sexual assault survivors faces cultural and social problem even in 2019. In India most women don’t end up reporting sexual violence because they don’t get support from their families and friends, because they fear of social stigma and they don’t take stand for themselves because of the rape culture.

Rape Culture
Rape culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and sexual violence is normalized and excused in the media. 


Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that degrades women’s rights and safety.
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Traditions
People blame a victim as if women are responsible for being sexually harassed. Many of the women’s families doesn’t accept them or support them in any way, there is endemic violence ingrained in Indian culture. 


In traditional Indian culture, girls are groomed to be good wives, not to be an independent women with their own careers. 

Traditional values say women are only important but they need to sacrifice their rights and ambitions because they produce children and preserve culture.

This mentality leads families to treat them as objects that should remain pure and be controlled: -women are their father’s property initially, and later their husbands are the owners.

 Parents worry so much about “losing face” in the community that while boys have all the freedom they want, girls are constantly advised not to do anything that “bring shame”.
Having sexual choice is a greater sin, girls are even restricted for pursuing their careers as well.  

This mentality explains why so many forced into marriages, or even murdered by their own parents. 
It leads to mother excusing away the heinous crimes of their sons by saying: “If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes.”

Violence against Women

Women’s gang rape and murders common in India, the descriptions by Indian women how they live in fear should make anyone worry deeply about the twisted beast that Indian culture has become.
Violence against women is a cultural problem. It is culture that leads to a country’s laws, and culture that discourages or encourages this violence. So why isn’t there a national debate about the social impact of 100 million missing women?

Victim-blaming attitudes marginalize the victim/survivor and make it harder to come forward and report the abuse, if the survivor knows that society blames her for the abuse, she will not feel safe or comfortable coming forward.

Victim-blaming attitudes also reinforce that the abuser has been saying all along; that it is the victim’s fault that bad things happened. While the truth remains- It is not the victim’s fault or responsibility to fix the situation; it is the abuser’s choice.

Protests and Campaigns fight against sexual harassment- The Dignity March
Thousands of women and children, who have faced some kind of violence in life, have walked 10,000 km across India covering 200 districts in 24 districts- to raise awareness about commonness of rape. The dignity march started in Mumbai in December and ended in Delhi on 22nd February. It drew thousands of sexual survivors from across the country.
The Dignity March - https://dignitymarch.org/

The national network of survivors, the first ever pan-India network to mobilise and orient more than 25,000, survivors and their family member across 25 states and 250 districts of India was launched at Ramlila Maidan.

The objective of the march was to encourage children and women to speak out about their experience of sexual violence embarrassment and put an end to the extensive culture of victim-shaming.

It is also unfortunate that while there is a huge anger against rape, millions of victims, primarily children are trapped in commercial sexual exploitation and community-based prostitution. Society says this because they have paid money, it is not rape. But it is a case of serial rape and heinous crime.
The number of men who turned up to support the women was overwhelming.
Rape remains one of the most underreported crimes in the country with some estimates suggesting that as many as 95% of rape cases in India remain unreported.

The conviction rate in such crimes also remains low. The most recent official crime statistics, from 2016, indicate that less than 19% of crime against women secured a conviction – the lowest in the past decade.
Toxic Shock Syndrome

Women’s representation in India
The reason India has not been able to effectively address crimes against women is the lack of women participation in political sector. Women in government can lead to more and between laws that safeguard women’s well-being.

India’s population is 48% female. But women hold just under 12% of seats in the national legislature.
That falls well the 30% “critical mass” that the United Nations Equal Opportunity Commission believes is necessary for women lawmakers to be influential in policymaking.

Local government in India actually have a quota system that ensures women hold one third of seats in rural and city councils, but female representation in India’s far more powerful national government remain comparable to countries like the republic of Congo and Mauritius, where women hold about 11% of legislative seats. Rwanda, where 61% of legislators are female, has the most women in government of any nation in the world, followed by Cuba, with 53%.

Women help Women
If the government include women representatives from across society—that is, of different political parties, races, class’s genders, geographies and religions—produce better quality of life for citizens than less inclusive governments.
Late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu state j. Jayalalithaa, who was in 2010, announced a 13-point action plan for the state to better protect sexual violence survivor. Her provisions, which have since been partially implemented. Included state-paid medical expenses after abuse, female investigating officers and fast-track courts for sexual violence cases.

India’s 2013 legislation on sexual violence ignores many of these victim’s rights issues, as the human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have pointed out.
https://www.seekersthoughts.com/2018/10/rural-women-do-you-understand-their.html
Rural women's ignored contribution


Conclusion
Although the issue of sexual violence has remained largely ignored until now, ignoring it further is no longer acceptable.

 It, thus, become crucial to acknowledge that sexual violence transcends national and cultural boundaries. In the absence of such acknowledgment, sexual violence may continue to grow. 

The causes of sexual violence are complex and like many other crimes, sexual violence may not be completely understood and explained by a single factor; culture. Culture is one of many factors that may be important in our understanding of sexual violence. 

It is an important research question as to what causes variation in the incidence of sexual violence in different cultures. Cross-cultural aspect of sexual violence is a highly under-investigated and under researched area. 

An important step toward understanding sexual violence and its victims would be to re-phrase and re-understand various models of patriarchy/matriarchy and various gender roles and gender expectations. It is high time we start understanding barrier and cultural strengths that are responsible for higher or lower rates of sexual violence cases in different cultures.
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