Written by Vandini bhatia, Edited by Pooja Shrimankar
16th December 2012, the whole nation mourned for the death of a girl. It’s been eight years since the Nirbhaya case, yet very little has changed. For once again on 14th September 2020, our faith in humanity was shattered as a 19-year-old girl was brutally raped and mutated in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. Yes, the whole nation is mourning again, but for how long and to what end?
In the last eight-year, many girls have faced sexual violence, many were raped, some even silenced. How many did we hear about? How many did we stand up for? They too were lost in the normalization of sexual abuse and rape culture. It is only when a girl loses her life, that the news channels show us the horrendous tale of reality and once again, we take to social media and candle marches, asking for the rapist to be given the worst possible punishment, while a women are continued to be raped every 15 minutes.
The truth of the matter is, that we will talk about this case for another week before life takes over and we forget yet another victim who succumbed to her fate. We’ll go back to our lives, but women and non-binary individuals will continue to be violated albeit in the hidden.
Statistics show that every 15 minutes a girl is raped in our country. How many of these cases are reported? Victims are subjected to the same misery of victim-blaming. Our society will find a way to make her believe that it was somehow her fault. The list isn’t short, her clothes, her lifestyle, her caste, or maybe she dared to shatter the false narrative of a good woman.
Yes, we stand up, we fight but we also help Rape Culture persist. Some of the pages on Instagram and Facebook are a great example of our society’s extreme duality. On one hand, they ridicule the rapist on the other hand share sexist memes and jokes that propagate rape culture. You and I share and laugh at posts that ridicule the choices made by a girl or a non-binary individual, we even share posts and stories that reinforce gender norms and hypersexualization of women, without realizing how we are part of the problem.
For how long will we go on like this? For how long will there be anger on social media and but no responsibility? For how long will we lock our women inside our homes, instead of educating the men?