Recently I began a research project on the rape crisis in India. It started as just a pang of curiosity on this issue, and it has since expanded into a wealth of knowledge and desire to advocate. When I first read about this crisis, I immediately learned that the situation was bleak.
Rape is everywhere. We may not enjoy discussing this subject matter, but it is everywhere around us.
It is said that in fact one in five women will be raped. This means out of my closest friends at least one or two of us will be raped in our lifetime; this is unacceptable. For less developed countries like India, the situation is even bleaker. The root of this problem comes from societal norms.
Rather than always blaming the rapist as we should, often society blames the victim. They say that he/she was “asking for it” by being out too late or being dressed promiscuously. When did it become a crime to go out with friends? When did it become a crime to dress how one desires to dress? The answer is never, yet we treat it as one. Even if it is not illegal to do these things, our society acts like it is.
We victim blame, accuse and tear these women down. Rather than receiving the care that they deserve, women are often too afraid to come forward especially in countries like India where victims are shamed. There are two problems with not coming forward. One, the victim never receives the justice that they deserve, and the rapist walks free. And two, the victim cannot receive the care they desperately need, the care that they deserve. We need to change this. As a society, every country worldwide needs to make rape less normalized.
Rape needs to become an issue that is treated with seriousness.
It needs to become an issue where the attacker does not often walk free. It needs to become an issue where victims feel comfortable to come forward no matter their background. With the help of court systems, government officials, and the people of a country we can change this crisis by changing the law and societal norms that fuel the issue. We need to come together and address this issue before it becomes more out of hand than it already is.
We need to come together for the women, men, and children of the world impacted by this crisis every day. We need to save the victims before the act even occurs. Pick up a phone and call your local congressman to address this issue. Donate to a cause hoping to aid the victims. Speak out about your personal experiences. Just do something. Your help could be the difference between life and death.