Praveen Swami on rape and sexual violence

28 12 2012

Praveen Swami has put the whole thing very succinctly in his article titled “The danger to women lurks within us” in yesterday’s “The Hindu”. He opines that policing is a small part of the problem and hence can only be a small part of the solution. He mentions several statistics of US and Europe to drive home the point. Only 3 of every 1000 rapists ever see inside of a prison cell in US , while only 6 of every 100 women who report an offence will see the perpetrator convicted in UK.

He says, “The decline in rape in the US has mainly come not because policing has become god-like in its deterrent value, but because of hard political and cultural battles to teach men that when a woman says no, she means no.”

Startling facts were revealed by a study done by two scholars Diana Scully and Joseph Marolla, which indicate that rape is a learned behavior. The men made no effort to hide the fact that they saw hurting women as entertainment.

Praveen Swami rightly pointed out that misogyny is a part of our culture, which views large-scale violence against women as entirely legitimate.

Measures like more police officers (especially women) and harsher police action on street, and even simple ones like better lighting in public places may deter sexual harassment and decline rape rates. Also, legal reform backed by investigative and prosecutional capacity will help. But the real battle is one that women’s organizations have fought to address for decades – to change the ways in which men relate to women; to create a culture of masculinity that does not involve subjugation, he concludes.

Note: The entire content of this post is drawn from the above mentioned article. I found it so profound that I felt compelled to share its key points here.

 

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