Victims blamed in India's rape culture

Aug 27, 2013 - by - 0 Comments

Aug. 27, 2013 CNN

Editor's note: Ruchira Gupta is the president of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an Indian organization dedicated to ending sex trafficking. She is the 2009 recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award for her work with victims and survivors of sexual violence.

When I read about the rape of a 23-year-old photojournalist in Mumbai, I thought, here we go again. On December 6, 1992, when I was a 29-year-old reporter covering the demolition of a mosque in northern India, I was attacked. I wasn't raped, but my attackers sexually assaulted and then tried to kill me.

Someone dragged me to a trench outside the mosque and pulled my shirt off. But a passerby jumped in, fought off my attackers and saved me.

When I appeared in court to testify against the attackers, their lawyers asked me questions that implied I was responsible. How could the daughter of a good family have gone to cover the demolition? Did I smoke? What kind of clothes was I wearing? Did I believe in God?

The judge did not stop them. It was a demoralizing and toxic experience, but one that is not unknown to women in India who choose to speak out against sexual attacks. They are silenced by a process that heaps shame, fear and guilt on them. Read More

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