As if the trauma of rape isn’t enough, there are a series of upsetting situations lined up for the victim, beginning right after an FIR is registered. The gangrape of the 23-year-old physiotherapist has once again brought to fore the ignominy of being a rape victim in this country.
When the case is tried in court, it is akin to being raped a second time. And hardly any financial assistance comes her way. The victim relives the trauma of being raped and faces yet again the person who brutalised her. Then there are the endless rounds to the police station, and the endless rounds the police does of her neighbourhood. No wonder, a number of these victims turn hostile in court.
Most give up due to one or a combination of reasons.
Special attention on minors
Statistics, shockingly, reveal that almost 60 per cent of rape victims in Delhi are minors. In 2011, of the 572 cases of rape reported in the city, 57 victims were below the age of 10. And because a child is most likely to forget the details of the case as time passes, it is imperative that their statement is recorded immediately. But this does not happen often. Moreover, the first statement should be enough to nail the accused, but this too does not usually happen.
“The problem is that our system makes a child give statements several times. Naturally, there will be discrepancies in the statement taken earlier and that recorded after a period of time. In many cases, this has been the prime reason for the accused going scot-free,” a senior police officer said.
She wanted to study, but didn’t have courage: 16-year-old rape victim forced to leave home.On December 4, the 16-year-old girl had gone to a stationary shop in the market near her home when she was dragged into another shop. Four men then raped her. "They threatened me that they had filmed the act and if I approached the police, they will make it public," the girl told HT.
On March 15 this year, the 22-year-old resident of Mangolpuri got a call from her neighbour and acquaintance. He asked her to reach his house as his “mother wanted to meet” her.
When she got there, he was sitting alone in the house. He locked the doors, sedated and raped her. "He beat me up badly and my neck hurt for days when I tried to defend myself," she recalled.
For days, the fear of being ostracised kept her quiet, but later she confided in her sister who got a case registered.
Eight months later, the 22-year-old from Assam is unable to forget anything. "Everything has changed. My landlord wants me to leave the house and I have to constantly fight with him. At my workplace, people treat me differently," she said. In fact, the shoe factory where she works has not paid her for three months now.
Right now, her biggest concern is getting married. The man who had promised to marry her has changed his mind. He even took away her belongings. "I want to get married and lead a happy life but it is becoming difficult for me to sustain myself," she said.
She had come to Delhi a year ago for a job. After landing in Delhi, she lived with her sister for some time but now lives alone in Mangolpuri. "He is behind bars but I am still socially ostracised. I don't know whom to ask for help," she said.