11 Sep Dispensation of Justice For Rape Victims
What Do The Statistics Say?
UN Women states that “Approximately 15 million adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) worldwide have experienced forced sex (forced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts) at some point in their life.”
At another instant, it was reported that “Twenty-three per cent of female undergraduate university students reported having experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct in a survey across 27 universities in the United States in 2015.”
These statistics that are presented are horrifying but not as terrifying as what we found when we dug deeper into this problem.
What Is A Sexual Assault?
Any form of sexual contact without one’s consent is classified as sexual assault.
Why Is It Difficult For Rape Victims To Get The Justice?
Rape itself is a traumatic experience for anyone involved leaving a person scarred for life. In many cases, it’s reported that rape survivors develop mental health conditions and suffer from illnesses such as PTSD. Sexual assault is any form of sexual contact without voluntary consent and that violates a person’s sense of autonomy, control and mastery over their body. The frequency with which these sexual assaults occur is alarming but sadly normalized all over the world.
The Failure Of The Society
The problem isn’t just the rape itself but rather the aftermath of it that complicates the situation. Is it not enough that a person suffers from something as inhumane as sexual assault? In many South Asian countries talking about rape or sexual assault is considered a taboo and the victims are often shushed for several reasons. More than often the victim’s family is poor, and the threats posed by the perpetrator’s family makes them succumb to silence. Even though in the beginning of the case they do gather support from people but slowly and gradually the constant pressure from the opposing household. Rape is equated with “Loss of Honor” in many Asian countries which isn’t just a gross misrepresentation of the issue but rather another reason why the rape victims in these countries never get the justice they deserve. The families get afraid for their reputation, status along with the societal pressure which leads them to accept silence rather than fighting for justice after being wronged. But these problems are not the only ones that hinder the process of getting justice for rape victims.
The Lack Of Legal Support For Rape Victims
The whole process of reporting a sexual assault and proving their innocence is overwhelming and usually very insensitive for the victims. Whether it’s the police officers making crass remarks or the constant struggle to go through from one platform to another while repeating the same steps every time. In many cases, the victims report that they feel that the judicial system has failed them. But why do these feelings take place? There are several loopholes present in our judicial system that unfortunately allow these kinds of perpetrators to roam free without facing any consequences. It’s difficult for the victims to prove their case all the while they are being pressured by the society, threatened by the attacker’s family and usually not in the best mental condition to face all these burdens that suddenly become their life.
Societal Exploitation And Victim Shaming
The societal exploitation and the culture of victim shaming can not be ignored in sexual assaults. Whenever a sexual assault victim comes forward with their story it is observed that they are often attacked with bizarre objections on their clothing, the time of the incident, the place where the incident took place and if nothing else than the questions such as to why they were alone. However, attacks like these which have no relation to any of the things mentioned would continue if this kind of mentality keeps existing in our societies. It’s not the victim’s fault that they were alone because the numerical strength of the victim has no relation with the fact that whether they would be attacked or not.
What Should We Do As A Society?
We need to stop normalizing victim shaming and finding excuses and reasons that allow us to justify this kind of predatory behaviour in our societies. Our judicial systems need to be more accommodating to the survivors rather than preying on their emotional weaknesses in such times. In many countries, they require many witnesses to corroborate the victim’s story however it’s absurd to ask a rape victim to produce witnesses to their assault. These kinds of legal loopholes allow injustice to prevail. As a society, we hope that these barbaric and insensitive acts come to a stop and if such acts happen no victim has been left out from justice.