Two days ago an officer of the Indian Army committed suicide in Pune while in the midst of a Court of Enquiry over allegations of sexual harassment, ever since then the endless hate and unverified information directed at the alleged complainant has varied from shameful to just pure disturbing, and a lot of it has been disseminated by the same people who won’t let their daughters out at night because India is not a safe place. Read how this dichotomy is at the heart of why we don’t believe victims in India.
The Mumbai High Court recently overturned the sexual assault judgement of a sessions court in Nagpur stating that under the POCSO Act sexual assault must entail skin-to-skin contact. Expectedly this has led to outrage across the nation, but how is this judgement any different from the lessons we teach our daughters about what sexual assault is “serious enough” to merit noise?
We hear about rape constantly but there is little understanding as to what rape actually constitutes or entails for the many different kinds of victims that exist. While rape laws have changed over the years, the implication of the laws on society remains the similar. This is how socio-legal rape culture erases victims.
From a very young age most of us are given to understand that we will have to marry someday, whether it is for love or because of the social norms that surround marriage. When the threat of forced cultural integration sent me running from marriage, I realised the rights afforded to non-marital love were not at par with the rights of the married. A central government guideline governing my partner’s job mandated our marriage, but should that be allowed to happen?