A 16-year-old girl in Haryana, India was snatched off the street and gang-raped by 8 men near a canal. They filmed the whole ordeal and when they were finished with her, they fed her some sort of pill and took off.
Out of fear for her and her family’s safety, the girl kept silent. When her mother finally dragged the story out of her daughter, she too kept silent. Her father was so distraught over the potential disaster to his daughter’s reputation that he killed himself.
In the sparsely populated Haryana, the past month there have been 17 reported rapes and there were over 700 reported rapes last year – a mere fraction of the estimated actual rapes that occurred according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Police believe that the numbers are much lower, and that all this talk of rape is just “hype.” Local politicians are blaming the use of modern technology as the reason behind sex attacks, and that if they lower the marriageable age of women from 18 to 15, men will stop being so rapey.
According to women's rights groups, one of the main contributors to the attacks is the unbalanced ratio of women to men, which in turn is due to many incidents of female infanticide.
This seems to me a clear-cut case of accepted pedophilia. The officials of Haryana clearly believe that it’s perfectly fine to have sex with 16-year-old girls and that some men are raping local teenagers simply because they aren’t old enough to be married and legally forced into sex. Are all the men in that town so insecure about their manhood that they can’t handle a real woman? They have to resort to powering over cowering little girls who are too afraid to fight, let alone seek justice?
Luckily the 16-year-old girl who was raped in Haryana is seeking justice, and the 8 men who tried to destroy her life have been arrested.
But what about the other 16 possible rape victims this month alone? Women and girls who have been forced into silence, and dishonor within their communities. I can't understand how a community could punish a child so coldly for something she had no control over. How could the victim be made out to be the criminal and left to live with a nightmare as if she was the monster and not a child who's innocence has been stolen from her?
When I think of rape as shameful, that doesn't spark an image of a victim. It sparks the rage I have for the rapist and the community that refuses to show even a shred of empathy to the one who was violated.