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Eradicating the crime of rape

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The federal and state governments should provide an enabling environment for civil society groups, religious bodies and other institutions to work together in efforts to tackle the menace of rape.

By: Dr Tasaduk Itoo

INTRODUCTION

The threat and the incidents of rape in societies are alarming. Women and girls safety is in danger. Every day hundreds of rape is committed by the rapists. In hundreds of ways, large and small, a woman's life is shaped by the persistent threat of rape: women hesitate to venture out at night without male attendants, to live alone, to hitchhike, to stay late at the office to work alone, to take certain jobs.  The fear of rape not only inhibits the freedom of women, it also exaggerates the dependency of women upon men. The law concerning forcible rape and the way it functions both influences and is influenced by the relationship between men and women in our society. Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. But while the 2015 NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) statistics show that, on average, a woman is raped every 15 minutes, some experts warn that such figures underestimate the severity of the problem.

THE RAPIST AND HIS VICTIM

Rapists are generally "normal" men. Imprisoned rapists, who have been subjects of numerous psychological studies, appear to have basically normal personality profiles, although they have pronounced tendencies to be impulsive, aggressive, and violent. This conclusion is particularly significant since only imprisoned rapists have been studied and, since so few rapists are sentenced to prison, those few tend to be the more obviously dangerous offenders. The finding that rapists are normal men stands in sharp contrast to the nature of the rapes they commit. About half of all rapes are committed by men known to their victims. Overall, the picture of the relationship between the rapist and his victim shows rape to be a brutal, violent event in which the rapist has as his aim not only forcible sexual gratification, but also subjugation and humiliation of the victim. Rape, then, is not the product of uncontrollable sexual urges that are unleashed spontaneously. But neither are most rapists sex maniacs; research indicates that most rapists are psychologically normal and there is no foundation for the prevalent notion that they usually are psychotics.

FACTORS AFFECTING INCIDENCE OF RAPE

The incidence of rapes is determined by interplay of several factors: Economic, demographic, social, efficiency of the police and judicial systems, and exposure to mass media. One analysis shows the following: The more affluent a state is, the lower is the incidence of rapes but the effect is small; the greater the sex imbalance (or the lower the number of women to men), the higher is the incidence of rapes; the higher the ratio of female workers to male workers, the lower is the occurrence of rapes; somewhat surprisingly, the higher the media exposure (measured as readership/ literate population), the higher is the incidence of rapes; the effect of alcoholism is contributory and significant  ; open defecation is associated with higher occurrence of rapes - especially in rural areas; and, finally, the higher the conviction rate (number of persons convicted/number of persons registered for committing a rape), the lower is the incidence of rape.

THE MAIN CAUSES OF RAPES

  • Psychological problems in rapists
  • Politicians protect the rapist for his gain.
  • Drug abuses/Alcoholism/Porn addiction
  • Police behaviour with victim is not cooperative, FIR is not registered easily.
  • Judicial delays in the rape cases, bail, then acquittal from the court due to lack of proof and hostile witness.
  • Procedure of appeal in the higher court-If the accused get sentence or any punishment from the lower court. They appeal to high court, then Supreme Court and finally to President. It takes 20 years to send the culprits into jail and hanged.
  • Passing through the lonely places during night alone gives the chance to rapists.
  • Drugs party, hukka parlour, drinks and dance party results in rape because the rapist find better occasion to intoxicate the women/girl.

TYPES OF RAPE

Rape is categorized in many ways, such as by the situation in which it occurs, or by the characteristics or relationship of the victim to the perpetrator. These categories are also referred to as “types of rape.” The most common types of rape include:

CORRECTIVE RAPE  – Corrective is a type of hate crime targeting non-heterosexual individuals as a punishment for defying traditional gender roles.

DATE RAPE  – Date rape, also referred to as “acquaintance rape,” is committed by someone who knows the victim.

GANG RAPE  – Gang rape takes place when two or more perpetrators rape one victim.

MARITAL RAPE  – Marital rape, also referred to as “spousal rape,” or “partner rape,” occurs between a couple, when one partner is not consenting.

PRISON RAPE  – Rape between prison inmates affects approximately 10 percent of prison populations. Although this is most commonly a same-sex crime, because prison populations are segregated, studies show most perpetrators do not identify themselves as homosexuals. Rape perpetrated on an inmate by a custodial individual, such as prison staff, or a police officer, is referred to as “custodial rape.

RAPE BY DECEPTION – Rape by deception occurs when a rapist gains consent from the victim through fraud, or false pretenses.

REVENGE RAPE – Revenge rape, also known as “payback rape,” or “punishment rape,” occurs when one or more people rape another person as revenge for acts committed by the victim or their family.

STATUTORY RAPE– Statutory rape involves sexual intercourse or other sexual acts with an individual who is regarded by the law as not being able to give consent.

WAR RAPE – War rape occurs when soldiers or civilians rape other individuals during armed conflict or war. This is seen as a means of psychological warfare. The term war rape is often used in reference to girls or women being forced into prostitution or sexual slavery by the powers occupying a country.

DEFINITION OF RAPE

Under Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, as per Section.375 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) a man is said to commit the offence of rape with a woman under the following six circumstances:

  1. Sexual intercourse against the victims will,
  2. without the victims consent,
  3. with her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person that she may be interested in fear of death or hurt,
  4. with her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband,
  5. With her consent, when at the time of giving such consent she was intoxicated, or is suffering from unsoundness of mind and does not understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent,
  6. with or without her consent when she is under sixteen years of age.

PUNISHMENT FOR RAPE

Under Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, Section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC)  is for Punishment of Rape.

Section 376(A) punishes sexual intercourse with wife without her consent by a judicially separated husband.

Section 376(B) punishes for sexual intercourse by a public servant with a woman in custody.

Section 376(C) punishes sexual intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand house, etc. whereas,

Section 376(D) punishes sexual intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital.

CRIMINAL LAW (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE, 2018

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 to amend the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was promulgated by the President of India on April 21, 2018.

SALIENT FEATURES

  • The ordinance proposes to amend Section 376 of Indian Penal Code.
  • The amended provision proposes to increase the minimum sentence of rape from 7 to 10 years.
  • The ordinance proposes to incorporate Section 376 (3) which provides that punishment for rape of girl below 16 years shall not be less than 20 years but may extend to imprisonment for life.
  • The ordinance proposes to insert Section 376AB to provide that whoever commits rape of women below 12 years of age shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine or with death.
  • The ordinance proposes to punish gang rape of woman below 16 years of age with rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine.
  • The ordinance proposes to punish gang rape of woman below 12 years of age with rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine or with death.

SUGGESTIONS TO ERADICATE / MINIMIZE THE INCIDENTS OF RAPE CASES

  • Moral education should be taught in every school/colleges.
  • Women should be given self defence training. There is few form of self defence. How women and girls should protect themselves in the time of crisis. They should carry pepper spray, small knife, and smart phone to take the photos of culprits and to call emergency numbers of his family members, police, and ambulance for rendering help.
  • A study group should be formed to investigate the reasons behind the rape case. There is a need for research in this field. Universities and institutions should come forward to do research on this topic. After the report, government should take action on the suggestions given by scholars and team.
  • There should be separate courts for the trial of rape cases and crime against women to deliver speedy justice. You know the proverb' Justice delayed means justice denied.'
  • There should not be any right to appeal in the higher court against the decision of lower court because it delays the justice/ decision. Hence rapist roams freely and again does the same thing.
  • There is a need of police reform and there should be online FIR registration system. There should be centralised portal to give complain online at state level.
  • Block all the porn internet sites.
  • Alcohol consumption should be completely banned.
  • Impartial and strict censor board to cut the rape scene and vulgarity from films.
  • The central women commission and the state women commissions contact details should be in public domain and they should help the victim as and when required.
  • There should be proper provision of compensation and rehabilitation for rape victims.
  • Women should have the right to shoot the rapist in self defence and they should not be tried for that.
  • The government should commit adequate resources to efforts to track down offenders, while encouraging victims to come forward and lodge reports with the police.
  • The lawmakers must review the laws and enact fresh ones that would stipulate stringent punishment for all categories of rapists, so as to serve as a deterrent to others. Death penalty /Capital punishment is the only way to curb this menace of rape.
  • It is need of the hour for government at all levels to strengthen existing laws on rape and ensure their strict enforcement.
  • Governments should put in place institutional framework that would make rape victims to come out boldly without being stigmatised, while it should provide treatment and support for the victims.
  • Efforts should be made to provide treatment facilities and centres that would be rape victim-friendly. Such centres should provide rape victims with all the confidentiality they require and other support services such as rehabilitation and counselling to enable them to overcome their traumatic experience.
  • The government should also provide counselling for rape victims to prevent them from suffering from “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’’ — a psychological condition which causes acute depression and other emotional disorders.
  • The federal and state governments should provide an enabling environment for civil society groups, religious bodies and other institutions to work together in efforts to tackle the menace of rape.
  • To curb the rising menace of rape, the country needed the active intervention of every segment of the society. Rape has become a serious problem in our society; the earlier we tackle the problem, the better for everyone. Governments, churches, mosques, journalists, non-governmental organisations and everyone should be involved in the crusade.
  • Public protests and demonstrations in solidarity with and in demand of justice for rape victims, in demand of strengthening the law and capital punishment for rapists/accused, in demand of putting an end to the menace of rape - are crucial need of the hour. Media has an immense role to play in covering such protests to sensitize world leadership and community towards it. But while protesting, be clear in what you demand without giving any communal, political or religious color to it. Police anywhere should too understand the purpose of such demonstrations and not resort to any kind of violence. It is all about to put an end to this "Menace of Rape".

The writer is a Resident Doctor at Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences and Hospital and can be mailed at drtasadukitoo@gmail.com

 

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