ANALYSIS ON THE SOCIO-LEGAL MEASURES TO PREVENT RAPE
Author: Pooja srinithi. S, LL.M from Government Law College, Trichy.
Co-author: Soundharya. S, MBL from NLSIU, Bangalore.
“Since the most sexual abuse begins well before puberty, preventive education, if it is to have any effect at all, should begin early in grade school”
-Judith Lewis Herman
According to Survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2018, India topped the ranking in terms of sexual offenses against women. This survey was conducted and released after 5 years after the Nirbhaya rape case, and Indian governments made several amendments in rape law, but still India topped the ranking in rape cases. Rape is not an incident, but it is a day-to-day occurrence in India. To corroborate this statement, National Crime Record Bureau(NCRB) states that for every 15 minutes, a girl is raped somewhere in India.
Rape is a type of sexual assault. It involves sexual intercourse or another form of sexual penetration carried against the person without their consent. It is carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse, or against the person who is incapable of giving their consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception.
Rape is derived from the Latin word "Rapere" (To seize). It involves the insertion of an erect penis or an inanimate object into the female vagina or the male anus. The Incidents of rape are classified into several categories, and it describes the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim and the context of the sexual assault. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code makes rape a criminal offense. The essential condition to rape is,
1) It Must be against her will,
2) Without her consent,
3) With her consent but putting any person, she is interested in danger,
4) With her consent, which is obtained by making her believe it is her husband,
5) With her consent, when she is in a state of mind, unable to understand the nature and consequences of that consent,
6) With or without consent when she is below 16 years of age and
7) When she is unable to communicate her consent.
The major amendment to criminal law has been made after 4 rape cases in India:
The criminal law amendment, 1983 was the consequence of a rape case, famously known as the Mathura Rape Case in 1972.
The criminal law amendment, 2013 was the consequence of the Nirbhaya rape case in 2012.
The Criminal Law Amendment 2018 was the result of two rape cases, Unnao Rape Case, kathua Rape Case. After this amendment, the minimum punishment for rape was increased from seven years to ten years. Probe and trial of rape cases, must be completed in 2 months with no anticipatory bail for the accused of rape or gang rape of a girl less than 16 years.
NIRBHAYA RAPE CASE
23 year old woman was brutally assaulted and gang-raped in a moving bus. The court held that the entire six rapists must be convicted by the court. The minor rapist was tried separately in the juvenile court and held for 3 years of imprisonment in a Reform Facility. And the other 4 rapist got death penalty and they were hanged on 3rd march 2020. The court said “it is the rarest of the rare cases” which shocked the whole Nation
MINOR RAPE LAW AMENDMENTS IN CRIMINAL LAW 2018
If a minor girl is raped, below 12 years of age, the punishment is a minimum of 20 years and maximum of life imprisonment to death. If she is gang-raped by a group of men, minimum punishment is life imprisonment and the Maximum imprisonment is death.
If a girl below 16 years is raped, the punishment is 20 years of jail, and if the girl is gang-raped, then the punishment is life imprisonment.
SURYANELLI RAPE CASE, In this case, a girl was allegedly lured with promises of marriage, and she was raped by forty-two men for forty days. The accused were arrested and the Kerala high court held that due to the lack of evidence collaborating the victim's statement, the thirty people were acquitted. The court found her to be untrustworthy. Then the Supreme Court held the new hearings of this case and discharged the high court order.
Even though prostitution is illegal in India, we cannot eliminate prostitution completely from our society. Legalizing prostitution in India will not only decrease the rape, but also it is a fight against STDs and AIDS. Legalization of prostitution is a negative way of fighting sex trafficking and other sexual assault like rape. Norms should be laid out for registration in terms of space, hygiene, and medical facilities available. Government involvement is crucial to make this work and come out with a positive impact.
DETERRENT PUNISHMENT OR INNOVATIVE PUNISHMENT
It is a popular opinion that when the offenders are given capital punishment, the offense will reduce, but it may have a negative impact also. The offender may murder the victim in order to destroy the evidence. Instead, the punishment can be simple, but it should create fear in the offender of his status in public. More than the Deterrent punishments, we just need innovative punishments to stop this crime. India should look beyond legislation to fix the problem because there is deep systematic disfunction of social norms.
Parents should speak up with their children if they have ever a problem or not and they should teach their child how some body parts are not be seen by anyone without clothes and they should teach about others touch in their body and they should encourage their child to share little things with them and the children should not think that they can't talk to their parents about those things. The lack of communication between the parents and children gives power to the perpetrator too. Parents should encourage their children to ask for help and to help others if they are in danger. The parents should teach the child good touch Vs bad touch. The parents should stay emotionally connected with the child and with open communication.
Boys Locker Room and Trivandrum Porn circulation case are evident for pornography and have become the source of sex knowledge in India. Using online pornography, inexperienced growing teenagers face a series of psychological and physiological problems. This may include shame about your own body and your sizes, failure to be aroused by others bodies, a desire to try extreme and dangerous sexual acts which are not always harmless, loss of interest toward real loving and human affairs, etc. Sadly, for all these poor kids, pornography creates an unrealistic image of sexual relationships which creates an expectation for real-life experiences.
Sex and sex education is a taboo topic in India, but we are in a crucial time to implement both parenting as well as school-level sex education in India. These social structures play an important role in moulding young minds, what we sow at a younger age should be good for a positive outcome. These programs positively lead to a low sexual assault ratio in future India.
Self-discipline plays an important role. It is more important to see women as humans than an object to satisfy your sexual desires. These crimes can be stopped only by the self-grooming of one's nature. Self-discipline may seem like a small issue, but it can clear the crime from its root. Every time when a rape happens, the girl will be blamed for her short dress, but the reality is that the offender should be blamed for looking at a woman with malicious intent.
SOCIAL APPLICATION AND MEDIA
Social media has been used extensively to promote various issues in the world. Social media can also allow the voices of survivors and perpetrators to be heard. Me too movement on social media has gained popularity globally. Technology allows us to use the apps, to give the information to the family and the police when we are in danger. From this rapist can be easily caught and the victims can be helped from being raped. One potentially powerful use of social media for sexual violence prevention and other crimes may be as a place for non-reformed or recovering perpetrators to gain helpful perspectives from other reformed or recovering perpetrators stories and action in speaking out against violence.
Section 375 and 376 of the Indian penal code have been amended from time to time, punishments are increased, but still, rapes are also increasing at a faster phase. On the global level, India ranked top in inflicting crimes on women which has a negative impact on our tourism, economy and our status. It is high time to protect our women by taking necessary steps to draft and implement the measures which will work. Not only government and law agencies should work to achieve this but almost all the social structure. Make India a better place for women.