Restoring peace to rape victims


As always, more than the perpetrator, it’s the hapless victim, who would be harried by hundreds of queries from people around. One could see these victims squirm, even striving to slink away from telly cameras, which sadly they can’t. Since paparazzi would be stalking them everywhere. If the TV channels are busy delving deeper into crime details to dish out sensational coverage, the reporters would be busy reeling out racy descriptions of the reprehensible act, committed by the rapist.

As if these aren’t enough, you find apostles of moral brigade, with their moral policing, launching into the character assassination of the victim, like it had happened in the case of that domestic help. Post-morteming her character, they had accused her of having clandestine and consensual relationship with the actor. Masala vendors too did their bit of adding juicy tidbits, thus having made the already ‘hot’ news more scorching and spicy.
Well, when we hear of rape incidents, do we ever stop to ponder on the victims’ predicament, and the turbulent moments, which they could have been experiencing?
Once, in a telly interview, a rape victim had confided, “More than the media, it’s mainly the people who interminably harass us. We are blitzed by a barrage of unsavoury questions from neighbours, the so-called friends and relatives. There is already a deep mental gash created by the grievous incident. These inquisitive grilling by people is like splashing salt on the searing wound. Why can’t people realise that all we need is some solitude and peace, when we are in that mentally-battered state.”

She continued saying, “God forbid, if the rape victim gets murdered too by her rapist, then it’s her parents/husband who face the brunt — being torn between the haunting memories of deceased daughter/wife, and people’s incessant interrogations. The girl’s relatives may flit in and out, ostensibly expressing solidarity. But in reality, for many it’s just few fleeting moments of media attention.”

I remember a scintillating conversation that I had overheard between three women at an adjacent table, while seated in a swanky club, sometime back. The discussion revolved around a woman techie, who was raped and killed by her pick-up driver, a couple of years back.

“I shudder even to envisage the mental tumults the girl would have undergone during those grisly happenings” had uttered the first woman. “Why didn’t she deliver a hard kick on the vermin’s pelvis, to have pre-empted his prurient moves,” had piped in the other. “The entire murder plot looks like orchestrated by her relatives, who were against her marriage,” had interjected the third woman.

The conversation had gone on and on, as those ladies spoke with indefatigable gusto. I had wondered, if victim’s friends/relatives too were discussing on the same lines, what impact it would have had on the minds of the victim’s family members, hearing the altered versions?

But is this all that we can do? Scrutinise the sensational news through all conceivable angles, brush the story with resplendent hues, embroider and embellish further, even doctor few things here and there, and lastly, titivate it with tangy tidbits, before presenting it to people around?

Indeed, it’s high time we stopped being nosy-parkers, snooping and intruding on other people’s lives and their private matters. It’s time we stopped infringing on others’ personal space, trying to unearth matters pertaining to their personal tragedies. Finally, if we are true bona fide empathisers, it’s time we left those rape victims alone, granting them at least few moments of peace and solitude.

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