Target: Parliament of India
Goal: Broaden anti-rape laws in India to include more than just vaginal rape.
Last year in Delhi there were 635 rape cases reported, yet only one ended in conviction. After the brutal bus gang-rape and death that occurred in December of a young Indian woman in New Delhi, Indian and global citizens have protested and demanded justice. Justice is far from being served to those who caused this innocent woman to suffer and die. Additionally, thousands of rapes and sexual assaults more go unpunished and often unnoticed within India’s boarders.
India’s economy has been advancing at a rapid rate over the past decade. Along with its economic development, India has seen growth and expansion as a business hub globally but despite its growth of commerce much of the country’s justice system has antiquated laws. In cases of rape and sexual assault, women are often blamed for the abuse, an outdated concept from a conservative patriarchic society. With more women entering the workforce every year, women being out of the house late without an escort or socializing with friends should not be blamed for any abuse endured, yet India’s judicial system often favors for the abuser in situations such as those.
India’s anti-rape laws perpetuate a culture of rape tolerance. For example, there is no law to protect a spouse from rape or sexual assault within a marriage. Rape, according to the Indian legal system, is often only defined as vaginal penetration, with cases of sodomy and other assault falling into categories of “misconduct” and “defiling of honor”. In addition, India has no Rape Shield Law – to protect the victim from an investigation of her sexual history, which leads to victim blaming and sympathy for the abuser.
India needs to change its laws to define rape to included forced vaginal, anal, and/or oral sexual contact to help protect its citizens. Marital exemption should be abolished and a woman’s sexual history or attire should never be considered by law to be an invitation for rape. And most importantly, prosecution is key to justice.
By signing the petition below you will help make it a priority of the Indian government to implement rape law reform and help to bring gender violence to the forefront of global issues.
Dear Indian Government,
The anti-rape laws meant to protect the citizens of India are outdated and serve no purpose in a true system of justice. I urge you make it a priority to reform these unjust laws to include any of the varied forms of rape, sodomy and/or sexual assault legally as rape. Additionally, Indian courts should have no concern of a victim’s sexual history of habits. The Rape Shield Law was created for American rape victims to protect the rights of the victim and to provide opportunity for a free and fair trial without jury or judge bias. India needs to create a Rape Shield for its rape victims or the abusers will continue to prevail. Lastly, India’s justice system needs to process accusations of rape as rape with no exceptions to martial status, background, or personal history of victim or abuser.
With hundreds of rape cases reported in Delhi alone last year, only one led to a conviction. Please take actions to reform these grave injustices within your legal system and help take women’s rights from the unheard and unnoticed to the spotlight of global issues.
[Your Name Here]