Cry Rape: Rush To Judgement

Hirjikaka By Hirjikaka, 16th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Domestic Violence & Abuse

Almost every single day, In India, there is a news report about one or more males being arrested for rape. It is ironical that a police force that is normally so reluctant to file a First Information Report (FIR), is always prompt to register a sexual offence – often before any meaningful attestation of the facts can be made.

Cry Rape

Almost every single day, In India, there is a news report about one or more males being arrested for rape. It is ironical that a police force that is normally so reluctant to file a First Information Report (FIR), is always prompt to register a sexual offence – often before any meaningful attestation of the facts can be made. It makes me wonder if, sometimes in the process, an indelible social stigma is being imprinted on some individuals who may later turn out to be innocent.

I am particularly leery of instances where an alleged victim complains of being repeatedly raped, over several, days, before she registers a complaint. The was the incident, for example, where the owner of a coaching class in Mumbai was arrested for allegedly raping one of his female students over a period of ten months – apparently in return for a promise to grant her grace marks and allowing her to pass her exams. She apparently accompanied the teacher to his apartment several times; and the molestations took place there – without her raising a ruckus. In a second incident, a slum dweller is said to have repeatedly raped his niece several times, over a month, by taking her to a public toilet in the neighbourhood.

In both cases, it is possible that the first assault may have come as a shock and surprise to the girls involved. But how can one explain the repeat visits to the ‘scene of the crime’? Even a girl with very limited intelligence would have known what lay in store for her. It is not as if she was bound and gagged before being taken there. The usual explanation offered is that the ‘victim’ was threatened with dire consequences if she squealed. But I don’t quite buy that. My guess is that these young girls, usually from a background where intimate interaction with the opposite sex is frowned upon, are not adverse to a small sexual adventure. It is the old maxim of forbidden fruit tasting extra sweet. It is only when things get out of hand – or there is a danger of imminent discovery – that the girls suddenly muster up the courage to report their tormenters. Since the girls’ ‘reputations’ are of paramount importance, in the context of future marriage prospects, it would be very convenient to portray themselves as victims.

I am not implying that this is always the case. In fact, it may well be the exception to the rule. But I do believe it is rash on the part of the police to take the ‘victim’s’ accusations as gospel; and rush to summary judgment. Supposing it later turns out that the ‘rapist’ was innocent after all. Will that make everything all right? Women are not the only ones who have to worry about their reputations. In India’s conservative society, appearances count for everything – and family honour is of vital importance. The acquitted man will always be viewed with suspicion by his neighbours; and shunned by their wives and daughters. Does he deserve that? The situation can even become lethal in some backward villages, where the man is sometimes lynched by the villagers, based solely on the ‘assaulted’ girl’s hysterical accusations.

It seems to me that in their zeal to ensure that female victims of rape and assault get justice, the police sometimes overstep their bounds and do an injustice to the men who are party to the dispute. There is a recent case where a Jet Airways airhostess has accused a co-pilot in the same airline of rape; and this despite the fact that the couple had been living together for months. She also claimed that he beat her regularly. One has sympathy for the lady if it is indeed true that the co-pilot she was cohabiting with used to frequently cause her bodily harm. But to allege rape is patently absurd. The woman was in a voluntary live-in relationship with the pilot. Her argument that she was initially reluctant to sleep with him, but later relented, definitely does not constitute a felony. If the man promised marriage and later reneged, it is, at most, grounds for breach of promise - not rape. Of course, if the assault charges are proved, he deserves to be prosecuted.

One has noticed a disturbing trend on the part of the police, whereby they are prompt to arrest the man in such cases, merely on the allegation of the "victim". Seldom is there any attempt at even a preliminary investigation to ascertain the facts before the man is taken into custody. Even if the charges against him later prove to be baseless, he has to endure the ignominy of spending time in a police lock-up - not to mention the damage to his reputation.

Tags

Assault, Law, Rape, Societal Ills

Meet the author

author avatar Hirjikaka
I am a retired Civil Engineer living in India. Writing used to be a hobby; now it is a passion. I do not write for gain or fame, but because it makes me complete. People fascinate me and I have friends - offline and online - all over the world. I try...(more)

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Comments

author avatar urguide
29th Dec 2010 (#)

Interesting article

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author avatar urguide
29th Dec 2010 (#)

Hi,
I have added the link of this article in my article “
Rape: An Ultimate Scientific Solution to this Stigma”. Its link is
http://www.wikinut.com/rape%3a-an-ultimate-scientific-solution-to-this-stigma/22aveora/u2d18l_p/
I hope you are ok with it.
If you want any other of your article to be added into my articles, do inform me.
Bye
urguide

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