Problems within problems

By Nargis Khatoon and Honey Shree

(01/07/2020 00:30 IST)

We all remember Nirbhaya and that terrible night of 16 December in 2012, the night which created widespread public protests everywhere with national and international coverage, and also became matter of shame and question on government. The incident which shocked entire humankind and a “real change” was expected but the ongoing atrocious sexual assault (Kathua rape case, Unnao case) proves that the real change is far away and we need instant action but overcoming such sensitive issue with misconceptions can create more problems and complexities in society. Isn’t it? So, today, let’s discuss the problems within the problems. Let me clarify, today we will reveal the facts which are often curtained by (“Her no means yes”, “that has to happen, how short dresses she used to wear”, “don’t go out at night” and so forth.) such myths.

“Violence is the illustrations of a pathetic stereotype”.

-Barbara Kruger

It is not rape if the victim was drunk

Alcohol or drugs does not mean consent (which is must) and the person who is not in his/her senses can’t consent in such vulnerable position and the other way can be considered as taking advantage of the situation.

Rape and sexual assault take place outside, in public, traveling home alone and usually at night by strangers so remain in home or with known people

This is most common scenario which we automatically assume when we hear rape news. Why? Because such cases are reported generally, facts claim that 90% of rapes are committed by the known person who the victim has trusted and these cases usually remain unreported so by avoiding strangers, by caging girls at home in an excuse of “protecting” cannot serve as solution in long term.

The person screams or fight in sexual violence

At first the answer may appear to be yes but many survivors experience freeze response in which they paralyze and neither speaks nor moves physically besides afraid of perpetrator, influences of drugs and alcohol can be the other reasons so any definite reaction is not obligatory.

“Revealing” clothes and the inappropriate way of dressing means they are “inviting” the problem

This one is very common and always remain on the top in myths list undeniably but those who are in favor of this myth, (sorry guys, please get another excuse) as 2 or 3 years old( even months old) too are raped, who does not even know how to dress up on her own just simply cannot do the “inviting “thing. Besides women were the victims of this brutality even when they used to be under veil, parda.

The person who was really raped would be visibly panic-stricken or upset

There’s no “right way” to response to assault, the reaction vary from one to another, one can react in many way to cope up with the trauma, the response can be panic, upset, angry, withdrawal, shock or may be the victim do not show any emotion at all .e.g. Only 1 out of 10 victims chooses to fight and report the crime to police so does it imply that the rest of the victims are not affected? So panic-stricken or being upset is not indicator or proof of the crime.

Only rape is sexual violence, other than rape is not sexual violence

Any unwanted physical contact is sexual violence. In nutshell, an act of physical, psychological and emotional violation in the form of a sexual act, inflicted on someone without their consent. It can involve forcing or manipulating someone to witness or participate in any sexual acts is sexual violence or assault.

Victims play “hard to get” and say no but it usually means “yes”

This dialogue is most heard one ( uski naa me haa hai ) let’s recall again yes and no, both are different words with opposite meaning ,yes is yes and no is no, it is that easy and when someone say so ,get it as it is . Assuming no as yes simply means not respecting, concerned about or malfunctioning in one’s system.

Women report false cases about sexual assault as it is easy to trap men

Around 2% -8% cases are falsely reported and this percentage of false report is same in all other crimes. Therefore it is important to conduct unbiased and proper investigation.

Offenders can’t control their sexual urges

Everyone has control on their mind and body ,whatever their body urges “argue’’ it should not be achieved against someone’s will.

All offenders are mentally retarded

Though a person who commits such acts cannot be considered as normal human being but technically they do not have any mental health problem.

A sexual activity with husband is not rape

Marriage for many is considered as liberty to establish sexual union but without consent and will of your “soul mate” it remains a crime. Nearly 1 in 10 women have experienced rape by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Men can’t be victims of sexual violence

Often females are victims but men can be and are victims too sometimes. If male are victim of sexual violence, numerous absurd responses are usual as, “so what? You must have enjoyed it anyways” or simply a subject of laughing it becomes. justice and equality may get served a day to all (god knows when) but it is clear all are victims of inequities one way or other way, such stereotype, typical- victim assumption would just lead towards a society with more sick mentality people.

Rape has culture (parting, drinking, and outing late night) and it is product of modernization

Rape has its roots from ancient and medieval period, from the point when men and women’s role were classified and in patriarchy women became “possession” of men, this crime is in existence since there. Rape is a crime which has no gender, race, color, culture, religion or country.

People with disabilities, old people and kids are likely to be safer

Offenders target people whom they assume vulnerable and on whom they can easily assert power and there are cases in which disable people, old and children too are victims of this brutality. In fact 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18 and Reports claims, Person with disability have been assaulted twice as compared to a normal person.

Rape with prostitutes is not rape

Usually they are seen as “available” but they have right to withhold consent. Again without consent and will, it is crime under no circumstance it can be justified .they can be victim just like anyone else.

It is not rape if the person already had physical relationship with that person with mutual consent before

EVERYTIME for sexual union consent and will is must; past relationship is not license for lifetime.

In India only 10 % are reported, rape is 4th most common crime against women. The current worsening condition of women justify how long this fight for justice going to be and such baseless myths or stereotypes serve as obstacles in the journey only . Drinking, way of dressing, having boyfriends, and going out in night does not encourage such criminal acts. No means no, when someone say so means stop. Marriage denotes commitment and responsibility too and not just certificate for any sort of sexual activity and there is no typical victim (being man, kid, disable, old or not “pretty”) definitely does not mean they are absolutely safe. Victim can be of any age, race, religion, gender and economic class. Progress is impossible without change, so first change mindset everything outside will change along with it.

About Authors.

Nargis Khatoon

Desk Editor

Honey Shree

Desk Editor

References.

  • www.oursilence.org
  • www.csustan.edu
  • www.uottawa.ca
  • Interviews
  • Writers' own view and analysis
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