Neighbours blame victim, lament loss of 'honour' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Neighbours blame victim, lament loss of 'honour'

They insist that she would have spared herself the pain had she worn 'traditional' clothes and stayed at home instead of 'venturing out at night'. Jatin Anand reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2010 01:31 IST
Jatin Anand

They insist that she would have spared herself the pain had she worn 'traditional' clothes and stayed at home instead of 'venturing out at night'.

Instead of being incensed at the four men - including a juvenile, who abducted and raped an 18-year-old woman in a moving car in outer Delhi's Sultanpuri area on Saturday night, the victim's neighbors are in no mood to forgive her.

"She had it coming," said a 45-year-old housewife who refused to identify herself.

"The whole family, including the mother, is promiscuous," she added.

A day after the incident, the victim's neighbors huddled together some distance away from her single-storey residence to lament the loss of honor that the incident had brought upon their colony.

The 'meeting' appeared to be nothing more than a mud-slinging competition that psychologists say is an exercise in self-defense and something that was expected.

"This is the oldest trick that patriarchal societies resort to for maintaining the status quo," said Dr Rajat Mitra of Swarnchetan, an NGO that counsels both victims and perpetrators of crime.

"Women who haven't ventured out of the household ostracize those who do so by believing that by venturing outside, the victim 'provoked rape'," Mitra added.

Though there was no connection between the incident and the victim's attire or manner, said Dr Mitra, these are routinely cited as reasons that attract heinous crimes such as rape.

"This is not only how people in a position of power (in this case, the victim's neighbors) maintain the status quo but also a means to restrict the movement of women outside home turf," Mitra added.