Target: University of Delhi Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh
Goal: Renounce oppressive curfews for women on a university campus.
Women at Delhi University must be in their rooms by 8 p.m. Whenever a woman does leave her dorm, she is confronted with questions to find out where she is going, the telephone number of who she is meeting, and when she is expected to return. These strict curfews for women are set in response to a city in which sexual assault is extremely prevalent. More than 1,800 cases of rape were reported in New Delhi last year, and thousands more go unreported because of the stigma surrounding sexual assault in the nation. The problem is so bad that the city of New Delhi has been dubbed the “rape capital” of India. A curfew for women hinders females from studying at libraries and also promotes the idea that the victim is to blame. We must take action to repeal this curfew for women because it acts more like a punishment than a safety measure.
Efforts to curb women’s mobility in order to prevent rape is a byproduct of victim blaming and will not address the root problem of sexual assault. Moreover, according to Huffington Post, Indian politicians, community leaders, and police officers blame women’s clothing and behavior, as well as the fact that they were out alone at night, for the cause of sexual assault.
Women should not be held accountable for their own safety as well as preventing the assault of their own bodies. Setting strict curfew only perpetuates the wide spread belief that victims are too blame. If women are subject to this curfew, then men should be too. Sign this petition to help female University of Delhi students get their freedom back.
Dear Vice Chancellor Singh,
I am writing this petition letter to you in hopes that you will repeal the curfews imposed on your female students in efforts to protect them from sexual assault. While these efforts have the best interests of students in mind, they are actually detrimental to curbing sexual assault as it teaches citizens that victims are to blame for their assault.
Quoted in the Huffington post, university student Avanktika Tewari has said “Do not take our freedom away in the name of safety… At least give us access to libraries after dark. Why should the boys be the only ones using the libraries till late?” These curfews not only symbolize the responsibility women carry to protect themselves, it also prioritizes the education of men as they are free to use facilities whenever they please. Therefore, it is important that these curfews be repealed and, instead, replaced with teaching both men and women the importance of consent. Educate your male students through rape prevention classes and strict punishments to guilty rapists. Empower female students through self defense classes. If you want to stop rape, start with education instead of punishment for the victims.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Slate