#Opinion

Instead of Showing Apathy, Why Can’t Society Help A Rape Survivor Rebuild Her Life?

moradabad rape case, parents try to kill daughter, deal with rejection, crimes against women in Delhi, justice for mandeep, Delhi Railway Station Rape Case, hyderabad gangrape case justice, domestic help thrashed by delhi couple, telangana man rapes corpse, indian author accused of rape, bihar man rapes daughter, Wife gangraped for dowry, why men kill women, West Bengal rape case, Jharkhand Woman Burnt Alive, Jharkhand Girl Burnt Alive, uttarakhand murder case, uttarakhand receptionist mother
We are living in an era, where violence and humiliation have crossed all boundaries. Apathy and impassiveness are thriving, even after a heinous crime is committed against women. Often, violence against women doesn’t end with abuse, it leads to indifference from society which leaves a survivor feeling isolated.

Recently, a 15-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad. The teen had to walk back home, without any clothes on her body, when she managed to escape from the clutches of her tormentors. It is claimed that she walked naked for at least two kilometres, and no one tried to help her out. How do we know that? Because the survivor’s ordeal after the sexual assault was caught on camera.

The incident takes one back to the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case, where a young woman was brutally sexually assaulted and thrown on the streets of Delhi. Reportedly, she was lying on road for a couple of hours before someone came to help her. Isn’t it a matter of shame for Indian society that it can’t even bring itself to help a young woman who has been through a traumatic experience? What has happened to us?

Moradabad Rape Case, Another Case Of Apathy

In another similar incident from 2017, a 26-year-old woman jumped off the first floor of a building in east Delhi’s Pandav Nagar to escape five men who allegedly raped her. In a clip that later made it to the Internet, she was seen walking nude on the road and begging for help from locals. The video shows many people watching the woman, none of whom offered any help to her. 

What do these cases tell us? First, sexual predators are fearless today and reassured that nothing could happen to them. Second, when women need help, most people will turn a blind eye. Why should I bother? Is it worth the time and legal inconvenience my empathy will cost me? These are some of the questions which come to an average citizen’s mind when they see a woman in distress. But for a moment, consider what a woman in that situation might be thinking. How does the world look to her at that moment? All broken and bruised again, only this time, her faith in humanity has been violated. 

The blame, in part, lies on our justice system which even manages to make kindness a hassle and reduce the quest for justice to yet another traumatic experience for a rape survivor. There have been many cases like the Hathras gangrape of 2020, where survivors of sexual crimes and their families have faced apathy at the hands of police, who are supposed to protect them. Social stigma and neglect by the police continue to haunt survivors of sexual violence. 

The assault goes beyond any physical injuries. The trauma can be shattering, leaving you feeling scared, ashamed, and alone or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories. Rape survivors are likely believe thay are damage goods. This may result in post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, as per a report.

For a second, think about leaving our hesitations behind if one could help the survivor. What could happen? One cannot take away completely the pain and sufferings of a survivor, but little help can at least restore her faith in humanity. She might not blame the entire society for her traumatic experience. A little support from people could encourage her to rebuild her life again. But if that is also taken from her, it will become difficult to start afresh.


Suggested Reading- Pregnant Woman In Bareilly Raped By 3 Men, Suffers Miscarriage