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Every Gender-Based Violence Is Wrong. Stop Comparing Them

In fact grave crimes such as rape should make us question how worse patriarchy and gender-based violence can be. It should make us stand up against every small instance of violence so that it doesn't grow like a mould and become as grave as rape.

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Rudrani Gupta
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A woman groped by an auto driver. A woman forcefully kissed by her cousin. A woman slapped and raped by her husband. A woman gang raped by unknown men. Sexual harassment comes in different forms but no form is less criminal, less wrong and less traumatic than the other. Whether you have been groped, kissed or raped, you have suffered gender-based violence and it is your right to speak up and seek justice.
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Years ago, my friend shared her story of being raped by her friend. I was traumatised by listening to her story. But then, based on the bond built by common experience, I shared my story of being sexually harassed multiple times by people I knew. And I was shocked by what she replied. She said, "Itna toh sabke saath hota hai". Was my story of sexual harassment less wrong, less traumatic than hers? Was I not supposed to share my story because it happens with everyone and need not be taken seriously?

I agree that there is a difference in the physical pain and mutilation that different forms of gender-based violence cause. A woman who is raped to an extent that she is on verge of losing her life is a serious affair. Like the case of Nirbhaya, Disha or the girl who died in Hathras gangrape, all were serious issues of gender-based violence.

But then, the trauma, emotional abuse and injustice are not less in the case of other forms of violence, which might not be visible physically, but leave a void, fear and disgust in mind. In fact grave crimes such as rape should make us question how worse patriarchy and gender-based violence can be. It should make us stand up against every instance of sexual or gender-based violence so that it doesn't grow like a mould and become as grave as rape.

I am not trying to undermine the graveness of crimes like &t=18s">rape. But I am just trying to say that if rape is wrong and deserves punishment then so do other forms of sexual harassment. Gender-based violence is wrong and unjust and each violence is an offshoot of patriarchal control in our society.

In no way should any form of violence be considered less serious or less grave than others just because the wound is not visible. For example, being sexually harassed more than once and being forced to be quiet for a long time made me a patient of PTSD, Depression and Anxiety. Were my wounds visible? No. But was I traumatised, emotionally abused and disgusted? Yes.

So the point is we need to start understanding what gender violence really means. It is a spectrum that keeps on showing new teeth. We as a society need to understand that each form of sexual and gender-based violence, whether it is physically abusive or emotionally, deserves to be taken seriously. No woman's experience of gender violence is trivial. It is as much wrong as any other form of violence.Ā  It deserves to be told, to be put under the scrutiny of law and to be bestowed with justice.

Views expressed are author's own

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