Bring #MeToo to India’s Rape Survivors

Target: Thawar Chand Gehlot, India’s Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment

Goal: Provide needed resources and services for citizens impacted by sexual violence.

A man allegedly raped a teenage girl and then set her on fire for the crime of refusing his marriage overtures. Just days prior, a 16-year-old girl ‘s family reported her alleged gang rape to leaders of the village where she lived. The accused, who received a punishment of performing 100 sit-ups from the village council, allegedly retaliated by savagely beating the girl’s family and burning the victim alive. These cases represent just the latest in a troubling history of increasingly violent sexual assaults in India, which in the past few months have also included the torture and murder of an eight-year-old.

India consistently ranks in the top five countries for documented rapes per year. At least 70 incidents are reported every day, but the numbers are likely much higher because sexual assault still carries a heavy stigma of shame and victim-blaming within many regions of the country. Despite tougher penalties and attempts at providing more efficient services for survivors in the wake of public backlash, the vicious crimes have not abated.

Many advocates, such as Human Rights Watch, believe India would benefit from a well-structured, comprehensive national public program that tackles the country’s rampant sexual violence. This program would organize and coordinate needed measures such as enhanced training for law enforcement and medical personnel, reinforced health ministry standards regarding sexual violence, and enhanced organizational partnerships to promote public awareness and to provide support resources for survivors.

Sign this petition to urge India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to work toward empowering sexual assault survivors through sustained national advocacy.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Gehlot,

A worldwide movement has commenced that restores the voices of women and all individuals impacted by sexual misconduct or assault. The wave of recent tragedies involving young women has made the voices within your nation resonate around the globe. Yet the atrocities continue.

Improved laws and more services designed to help women speak out underscore a seeming desire to halt the sexual violence that has plagued India. These measures cannot reach their full force, however, without a concerted, deep, and expansive investment: a nationwide program for all Indians that helps coordinate and implement sexual violence combat tools. A program that provides essential structure for health ministry initiatives, laws,  law enforcement training protocols, and public outreach is not just desirable. It is critical, especially for victims afraid or ashamed to come forward.

Please use every available resource to promote and prioritize such a program so every past victim, every present survivor, and every future citizen who may live a life untouched by violence and hate.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Backbone Campaign

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah Young says:

    Utterly horrific. Laws need to be in place to protect the victims and punish the evil men responsible so that no more young, vulnerable girls are exposed to such horrific violence, this is totally unacceptable in the 21st Century. Your country needs far stricter laws that will protect vulnerable children and adults from this kind of barbaric monstrous sexual violence.

  2. Change your Laws to protect victims!

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