Dalit Rape Survivor Raped At Police Station, Where Should Women Turn To?

victim-blaming women, Lakhimpur Kheri rape case
Perhaps we have become so desensitised as a society that words like rape or gang rape do not affect us anymore the way they should, what else can justify the rape of a 13-year-old gang-rape victim at the hands of cops? How can those who are appointed to provide protection and uphold law and order turn into perpetrators? Where are we heading as a society? Is the discourse on women’s safety only tokenism?

In shocking news coming from Uttar Pradesh a minor teen, a Dalit girl who was kidnapped and gang-raped by four people was further raped by the SHO (Station House Officer) when she reached the Police Station to report the incident. The incident took place in the Lalitpur district of the Bundelkhand region of UP.

The girl was kidnapped and taken to Bhopal where they raped her and then dumped her back. A 13 year old can you imagine the scars she will have to carry for the rest of her life? Why as a society we cannot teach our men that rape is not ok? Why are they not fed that you cannot get away with everything? When are we going to stop accepting that men will be men?

Lalitpur Gangrape

The teen survivor then narrated her ordeal to a Childline team, following which the police lodged a case against six people, including the SHO who has been suspended now. As per the complaint by the girl’s mother the four men abducted her on 22 April they stayed there for 4 days and raped her. On April 26th she was dumped back.

The following day, the cops called the girl to the station to record her statement. In the evening, the girl’s aunt took her to the SHO’s room, where he allegedly raped her, as per the complaint filed by the survivor’s mother. Where will women go if Police Stations are not safe?

“The aunt and two men have been arrested. Raids are on to trace the other accused,” said Lalitpur’s superintendent of police Nikhil Pathak. “It is part of our investigation to find out why the rape case was not filed when the victim reached the police station for the first time (April 26),” said Lalitput’s Superintendent of Police Nikhil Pathak.

Suggested Reading: Street Lights For Larger Concern: Why We Wait For Women To Get Raped Before Ensuring Their Safety?

Why are we as a country so prone to gender-based crime? In the light of the news breaking out several political parties have been playing the blame game. Rape however is not a political problem it is a humanitarian issue. The problem which needs to be addressed is the second class treatment that women are constantly subjected to due to the deep-rooted patriarchal structure of our society.

Catching the perpetrator naming and shaming them or even harsher sentences is not acting as a deterrent. We all vowed after Nirbhaya to make this country safer for its women, so what can justify the Kathua rape case or Delhi Cantt Rape case? The change has to be brought at the grass-root level where men have to be taught that women are their equals and they do not have the right to exploit their bodies or their agencies.

India is considered the most unsafe country in the world for women and it is not a status to be proud of. We can’t wait for such brutal incidences to happen to shake us up. We need this to stop. 

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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