The Stigma of Rape: Gendered Victimization

L. N. Suman*

The Stigma of Rape: Gendered Victimization.

The problem of rape is as old as civilization and it is a universal concern of great magnitude. Rape is classified as a violent crime in all nations and attracts strong penal action. This however has not deterred sexual offenders, and statistics related to rape indicate that it continues to traumatize not only women but men and children also. In India, rape is more common against girls and women. The proportion of crime committed against women against all types of crime in 2012 was 9.40% according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Politicians and other public figures in India often dismiss rape as a forgivable offence with one political leader recently describing rape as an understandable act since ‘boys will be boys’. Others have blamed women for the act and have dismissed accusations of rape as only ‘mistakes committed by men’. Some public figures have recommended punishing the victim also for the crime. The police also discourage the victim from registering a complaint as it would sully her image in society. For instance, the police refused to register a complaint of rape when a minor victim along with her mother went to the police station to report the crime. The police advised the mother against filing a complaint as her daughter’s reputation would be ruined. As a result of such attitudes; men go scot free after committing the criminal act, adding to the misery of the victims.

Women Health Open J. 2016; 2(1): e4-e5. doi: 10.17140/WHOJ-2-e005