Stop the Child Rape. Now.

India is RapedIt wasn’t bad enough that a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi last December and later died of her injuries. That alone, besides setting off worldwide protests, seemed to open a box of secrets about how women are too-often treated in India.

But now, the news out of India is even more horrifying: 5-year-olds are being raped. Or at least the world is starting to hear about it.

In mid-April, a 5-year-old in New Delhi was found in an apartment after having been kidnapped, raped and tortured by a neighbor over the course of several days. She had to have surgery to remove objects that he had inserted into her body. The Times of India reported that police initially refused to file a crime report and later attempted to buy the family’s silence by offering them about $37.

About a day after this girl was discovered, a 5-year-old in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the daughter of poor construction workers, was lured to a nearby farm by one man and then raped by another—a friend of her parents. To still her cries, the men smothered her, leaving her in a coma with a brain injury. She died on April 29.

And if you think these child rapes are just coincidental, consider this recent report [pdf], entitled India’s Hell Holes, which points out that of the 48,338 cases of child rape reported in the country between 2001 and 2011 (the tip of an iceberg, certainly), the great majority took place in juvenile justice homes—where children are supposed to be cared for and protected. The report, from the Asian Centre for Human Rights, doesn’t hesitate to characterize child sexual abuse in the country as having reached “epidemic” proportions.

Spurred by local protests and international uproar after the December gang rape, India quickly passed a series of measures increasing penalties for rape and outlawing sexual assault and stalking. But marital rape is still legal, and members of the army can’t be prosecuted for rape (because military members deserve impunity, right?)

At least Indian society has been roused in great numbers to protest the dehumanization and brutalization of women and children, and the government can’t help but begin to act. The international community has to insist on and support that action as well. “India hates women,” wrote Ms. Blogger Pubali Ray Chaudhuri boldly after the gang rape in December. But then she added, “Admitting we have a problem is the first step towards change, towards healing, towards hope.”

Photo of spontaneous march in Delhi against rape, joined by as many men as women, from Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Comments

  1. This post is breathtaking and nightmarish. I have done a video on early child marriage, and I know that girls of 5 are often betrothed – but if all goes well, they aren’t actually married off until the ripe old age of 12 or so. What is it that drives a man to want to have sex with a tiny little child? I just don’t understand.

    • Julian Morrison says:

      Power, impunity. It’s important not to divide this from the ordinary. ANY situation where people have power and impunity, in this worldwide kyriarchy, they start to behave like this – cruel abuse of victims who are powerless because they are powerless, which is why children and women are so often the focus. I do not believe it’s intrinsic to human nature, but it is baked into the culture of hierarchy and coercion.

  2. http://indianfeminist101.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/was-5-year-old-responsible-for-her-own-rape-an-open-letter-from-bharatiya-sanskruti-rakshak/

    I wrote a post on the rape of the 5 year old child and how the sick rape apologists would in fact justify it. It is a satire but very close to reality.

  3. That anyone could even imagine raping a five-year-old child is horrifying enough; the fact that child rape is occuring at such epidemic levels in India — or anywhere in the world for that matter — is sickening. It’s a frightening reminder that in certain parts of the world, girls and women are seen as expendable and treated accordingly.

  4. I am sorry, but I don’t see any difference between a grown woman being raped or a child being raped. That is judging the victim. It is the same thing. Rape is a crime of violence, so the victim should not be judged. It’s like murdering an adult versus murdering a child. Both are wrong.

    • The difference between a woman and child being raped is that a child hasn’t been exposed to any of this yet. When your 5 years old and you get molested or raped, you’ve been exposed to it in the absolutely worst way possible and you don’t even understand what happened. Because you have no knowledge about what sex is except for this horrifying experience, you think its ok or that its normal and you can be more easily convinced. A full grown woman will know that what’s happening is wrong and in a way will understand what is happening technically (I’m just saying she knows what sex is) . The child wasn’t physically ready for sex but now this experience is all they know.
      Please trust me on this, Sadly I know from expirience

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