Absence of strong deterrents has encouraged crime against women, said city-based psychiatrists, a day after a 22-year-old photojournalist was allegedly gangraped by five men in the Shakti Mill compound in Mahalaxmi. Mental health experts said “very little fear” for the law has resulted in numerous sexual attacks against women.
“Whenever a person commits a crime, it is because there is availability of a victim, opportunity and the absence of a deterrent. To reduce the incidence of such attacks, a strong deterrent is needed,” said Dr Vani Kulhalli, a Vile Parle-based psychiatrist.
“To deter such crimes, the process of justice has to be immediate. It is necessary that rules are enforced in a fixed time,” she added.
Experts said such random sudden crimes are extreme in nature and difficult to prevent. The urge to experiment sexually is another major factor, according to doctors.
“Adolescents are eager to try new things sexually. Such individuals derive immense pleasure in hurting the victim, it adds to their thrill. We have observed that access to adult video content encourages fantasies that they try to gratify. They (accused) blame alcohol and drugs for their behaviour during counselling,” said Dr Y Matcheswalla, psychiatrist, Masina Hospital in Byculla.
Psychiatrists said the accused suffer from psychotic and personality disorders that trigger such violent activity in many people.
“There is a need for a permanent imprint among masses, especially men, about the punishment for such a heinous crime. People know there is punishment but do not understand its gravity,” said psychologist Seema Hingorany.
“Psychological fear needs to embedded. Many of the accused we speak to say they are happy in jails as they are taken care of. They experience no remorse or guilt.”
Experts also said that the feeling of anonymity in a mob encouraged such men.
“Such crimes are a result of mob mentality and peer pressure. One of the accused floats the idea in the group and the others follow suit,” said Thane based psychiatrist, Dr S Kumavat.