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'Speak up, say something': Uber cab rape victim

She took to the streets in protest after the December 16 gang rape. The government strengthened laws, but the young executive writes in The Indian Express no strong message has been sent out to society and criminals are not deterred.

india Updated: Jan 01, 2015 18:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Uber Rape,Cab rape,Delhi Rape survivor

The young executive raped in an Uber cab on December 5, 2014, when she was returning from Gurgaon has broken her silence, fighting back — bitter, but determined.

“This should never have happened to me. This city has failed me,” she writes in The Indian Express.

The 25-year-old finds it difficult to sleep as the memories haunt her and is scared to go out alone. This is a far cry from what she is.

“I have always believed that if I see something wrong, something I feel strongly for, I will speak up, even if it means opposing my family or friends or relatives. That is why, after the incident that night, I called the police first, before even informing my parents.”

In speaking out, she is again forcing people to confront dangers that women face in a country where, according to a report after the December 16, 2012, gang rape and murder of a young woman, a rape is reported on average every 21 minutes and incidents of molestation are common.

India was convulsed by the murder of the woman who was raped and tortured on a moving bus in New Delhi in December 2012. The crime forced the country to confront sexual violence and leading to a tightening of rape laws.

The Uber rape survivor says she had then taken to the streets in protest. “… The government may have taken a stand then, but I don’t think it has been a concrete one. No strong message has been sent out to society. It hasn’t deterred criminals…

“Isn’t it ironic that the Uber driver had the audacity to threaten me by saying he would use an iron rod on me? Instead of being deterred, this man actually used the December 16 gangrape to scare and assault a woman.”

In her quest for justice, she doesn’t forget to appreciate Delhi Police for their behaviour and efficiency in catching the accused.

Family, colleagues and others

How to manage society and career? “Some people in my neighbourhood have already started raising questions about my dignity… For instance, a friend of my mother called her after an incorrect newspaper report, asking why we had filed a case. She told my mother, ‘Badnaami hogi (You will get a bad name)’. My mother replied, ‘Badnaami uski hogi jisne yeh kaam kiya hai, meri nahin (The people who will get a bad name are those that did this, not me)’. She said she was proud of me for reporting the incident.”

The executive has resumed working. Her office is supportive. Not just colleagues, others have been sensitive too.

She says for her to feel safe again, the most important development would be to have cabs driven by women drivers. “… When a girl is travelling in a cab, the vehicle should be properly checked and details of drivers must be thoroughly inspected. If Uber had been diligent enough, this incident would never have happened.”

For the new generation, “people of my own age”, she says, “Speak up, see something, say something. Don’t be quiet.”

READ THE FULL REPORT: Uber cab rape victim breaks her silence

First Published: Jan 01, 2015 10:13 IST