A rape victim needs support — financially, emotionally as well as psychologically. Broken and in a state of turmoil, family is the first institution a woman turns to. Then come the community and the state. These three institutions should do everything to make her battle less traumatic.
Giving these women counselling is the priority. Moreover, the state has to ensure that the counselling doesn’t end once the case is registered, but continues for long. “Counselling is the pillar around which one builds a complete recovery path for the victim,” said Samir Parikh, director, mental health, Fortis Healthcare. “Post-traumatic stress disorders need to be prevented and one has to ensure that the patient finds her self-esteem and does not cut herself from the society.”
The financial aspect has to be considered too. Merely providing compensation won’t help; the government must rehabilitate such women. Moreover, releasing the compensation money in time will be of huge help. Most cases drag on for years and these women need money to travel and give a miss to their workplace when the hearing takes place.
Moreover, both police and the community need to be sensitive to the plight of the victim. It should be ensured that plainclothes police visit the victim’s home to protect her identity.
The society too needs to do its bit. It should understand that the girl’s clothing and lifestyle had nothing to do with her being raped and that she needs their assistance. "Rather than finding faults with the victim and her lifestyle, people need to be more supportive. It is the accused, not the victim, who should be treated as criminals," said a senior government official.
Technology is another important aspect. Add more laboratories which conduct swab tests. "Better technology will not only help us in investigation, but will also ensure a speedy trial," said a senior Delhi Police official.
And since a number of victims are children, who forget the details of an incident quickly, first statements by minors should be given more weightage.