Indian Justice System Failed Another Rape Survivor From Unnao
They say raise your voice when someone tries to sexually harass you. But what happens after a woman calls out her perpetrator whether on social media or in a police complaint, the consequence has been truly traumatic from the recent cases that have been reported. A rape survivor from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh was set ablaze by her perpetrators out on bail. She suffered up to 80 percent burns and is fighting for her life in a Lucknow hospital. The woman was on her way to a court hearing in her case in Rae Bareli.
Earlier than this, the other rape survivor, who accused former BJP MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar of raping her, is still getting treatment in Delhi’s AIIMS hospital after a “truck accidentally hit” her car when she was on her way to meet her uncle who has been imprisoned after Sengar filed a case against him. She lost two of her aunts in the car accident while she and her lawyer suffered grave injuries.
In yet another rape case, when a law college student accused former three-time MP, Chinmayanand of sexual harassment and rape. The BJP politician filed a cross-case of extortion against her and while she has been arrested, the former MP and rape accused Chinmayanand has been seen going in and out of a hospital. Her parents have reported harassment at the hands of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of UP Police. Moreover, the police have adamantly not filed a case of rape against Chinmayanand when the survivor has time and again alleged that he raped her.
Who says that speaking up about sexual abuse helps end it? When all there is left after that is a fight to prove yourself right, that your body was actually violated and that it wasn’t your fault.
In the urban space, when Priya Ramani accused former Minister of State of External Affairs, MJ Akbar of sexual misconduct, it is she who is being prosecuted as Akbar retaliated by filing a defamation suit against Ramani. This is despite the fact that Ramani is only one of the many women who accused Akbar of sexual misconduct including an allegation of rape against the politician.
There is a growing sense of fear and loss of faith in the justice system to come in aid of the survivors of sexual violence in our country. We have reached a threshold with a failed judiciary and law-enforcing agencies and women are tired of outraging and protesting. Our lungs are drained of shouting our sexual offenders’ name. We have failed the survivors in the worst possible way because we never let her forget that her body was once ravaged hence the trauma of a survivor engulfs their entire life.
Who says that speaking up about sexual abuse helps end it? When all there is left after that is a fight to prove yourself right, that your body was actually violated and that it wasn’t your fault. We hardly question the predators but pin the blame of violence on the woman who has been violated and every time we do this, we fail every survivor of rape and sexual harassment as a society.