Ninety three women are raped in India every day according to the National Crime Records Bureau data. Rape strips the woman and her family of dignity. It’s an unending torture. Amit suggests, based on hard facts, that two steps could largely mitigate the problem in India. Firstly, there is an urgent need of sex education in schools, followed by open discussions between both sexes. Next, prostitution should be legalised in India. It should also be destigmatised, if we want to stem the rise of rape cases. Here’s an analysis exclusively in Different Truths.
Cause of grave concern: Data from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) demonstrates that every day 93 women are being raped in the country. According to NCRB data, there is an increase in the number of rapes reported in India – from 24,923, in 2012, to 33,707, in 20 and freeed13.
Rape is probably the most terrible incidence that devastates the dignity of any man or women. However, women are most likely to be victims of rape. Incidents of rape, along with India, are prevalent among most developed countries in so called civilised states such as Britain, Sweden, U.S.A., France and Canada 1 . Are Indian men wired to rape as some white students in Norway sarcastically asked me, forgetting that cases of rape also happens in Norway? In answering this question, I confidently said that all men could be potential rapists, not just Indian, as Western nations led the chart in such context 2 .
In India, after every highlighted report of rape in the media there is discussion to prevent it. We have strict legal measures to punish rapist. But no preventative measures. Gradual increase in the number of rapes, as NCRB data demonstrates that law have been ineffective to deter rapist. Even though women dress conservatively but rape still happens. It does happen with small children and old alike, so ‘dressing modestly’ arguments does not hold ground.
However, when it comes to preventing rape incidences, we, as a nation have difficulty to finding permanent prevention solution against rape. Our laws and social moral codes have been ineffective in preventing rape cases.
Then what is solution?
Modern India is a one of the most sexually repressive country in the world- without any doubt. Our cultural norms are strict about pre-marital sex. In spite of having legendary tradition of sexual art and knowledge such as Kamasutra and Khjuraho, discussion about sex in public or in family is still taboo in Indian culture. This factor has also hindered application of sex education in schools hampering the young kids to understand the dynamics of their body and needs. If such kids grow without proper sexual knowledge, it would not be surprising that they could be prone to do sexual violence as involvement of juvenile offenders in many rape cases suggests. Therefore, sex education is must.
Sexual education must be handled like any other subject in school, and open discussions must be allowed between both the sexes. A meaningful discussion on sex will eliminate mysteries surrounding sex.
Legalisation of Prostitution
Another revolutionary step to prevent rape cases could be the legalisation of prostitution. Sexual energy can’t be repressed forever and needs decent release. That’s why a larger number of sex-parlours are being run in a dignified manner in Netherland and many Western nations. In this system, both, customer and sex worker are legally protected, unlike in India where sex workers are the victims of unfair law, attract legal penalty coupled with police abuse and are looked down upon by the society. Indian cities are dotted with brothels. Sex worker are stigmatised by the society and victimized by the law.
Legalising prostitution would decrease sexual violence such as rape. This is because of the fact that some people have a lot of trouble finding sexual relationships particularly in the society which is sexually repressive and where discussion on sex in public is still taboo. The people who have this difficulty (finding sexual relationship) may be the type to attempt sexually violent crimes, but these people might pay for sex if given the opportunity over raping someone.
In this context, a report from National Bureau of Economic Research, U.S.A, has demonstrated that as result of the legalisation of prostitution in Rhode Island, public health and public safety substantially improved 3 . Report suggests, the number of rapes reported to police in the state declined by 31 per cent. The study by Baylor University’s Scott Cunningham and Manisha Shah of the University of California, Los Angeles is the first quantitative evidence that removing criminal penalties for prostitutes can reduce violence against women and curtail sexually transmitted infections in society 4 .
Legalising the prostitution would open a civilized channel for many to comfort themselves; rather than raping and killing women. Legally empowering sex workers and customers would shed the hesitation and stigma surrounding sex business. This step does not guarantee to curb the incidences of rape, however, could be effective in rape prevention as above study has demonstrated. Yet opponents argue that legal prostitution would encourage traffickers to kidnap women and girls into lives of sexual slavery.
Finally, In Indian context, it can be said, sex education and legalisation of prostitution could be effective measures in prevention against rape provided that Indian cultural norms opens its doors to accommodate public discussion on sex and change people’s mindset which oppress natural sexual desire of men and women rather than cherish them.
Pix from Net.