Putting this on the blog because it is too long for facebook or twitter. Link to article here.
In 9 percent of cases the accused were strangers. In the remaining 91 percent the accused were known persons. This breaks the myth that most rapes are committed by strangers in secluded and dark public places. (Emphasis ours)
In 60 percent of the cases, the place of offence was the home of the victim or accused or someone known to them.
In 14 percent of the cases it was in a rented room or office.
In 15 percent of the cases the abuse was in a public place.
We are more vulnerable inside our homes than outside.
Rapes by fathers/step-fathers constituted 46 percent of family rapes. THEY FORM 7.2 percent OF TOTAL RAPE CASES – ALMOST AS HIGH AS RAPES BY STRANGERS (9 percent).
The sexual abuse within the family is, in fact, far more rampant than these figures reveal. In most cases, the abuse is hushed up, especially the abuse by fathers, who in most cases are also bread winners of the family. Few cases accidentally get reported, and in these cases the victim or her mother face great stigma and are under tremendous pressure to retract. The ones who withstand this pressure and pursue the case do so at great cost to themselves, in terms of financial security and social ostracisation.
Long Term Abuse:
In 45 percent of the cases the abuse was continuous (over months and years);
In 12 percent of the cases abuse was repeated (over days)
Only in 38 percent of cases, it was a single incident.
Of the 212 judgements that were analysed:
61 percent resulted in acquittal,
32 percent resulted in conviction and
7 percent were part conviction i.e. convicted on a lesser charge.
Almost makes you not want to report a rape.
Judges’ Comments On the Subject of Medical Examination:
1. There is clearly sexual assault, torn hymen but it cannot be attributed to the accused.
2. Report does not show use of force. Had she resisted there would be injury marks and the report would show that.
3. Tears are old and this nullifies the prosecution case.
4. In some cases, the Judge did not comment on the report.
5. In some cases, the Judge did not comment on why medical exam was not conducted.
6. When the prosecutrix was used to sexual relations, there was no possibility of her sustaining any fresh injuries on her private parts, especially considering that her hymen was torn completely.
7. In cases where injuries were not expected to be found, Judges have held that no injuries did not mean that there was no sexual assault
8. Victim is habituated to sex as she is married, hence medical report cannot help much.
From someone who knows what it is like, there may or may not be proof of rape.
Adverse Comments By Presiding Judges
1. Parents should be asked before complaining about rape.
2. Victim did not protest, shout.
3. Victim should have jumped off the bike when she had the chance.
4. Victim had no injuries on her body.
5. No proof of penetration means there was no rape.
6. Victim disclosed only when she was found to be pregnant.
7. Victims were enjoying themselves.
8. Victim had a bad habit, had sex out of curiosity.
9. Victim bunked classes, roamed around with boys, was taken over by infatuation.
10. Despite knowing consequences of keeping relations, she became pregnant.
11. It’s victim’s promiscuity, not misconception of fact.
12. Case is at most breach of promise and not false promise as she knew the consequences.
13. Victim did not say rape she just said ‘ganda kaam’.
14. Rape destroys the very soul and personality of a woman.
I wouldn’t file a FIR against rape if it means I have to listen to any of the above.
Positive Remarks By Presiding Judges
1. Prosecutrix’s sole testimony is sufficient to convict, corroboration is not required.
2. Insisting on corroboration would add insult to the injury.
3. Victim’s conduct is natural.
4. Delay in filing an FIR in cases of father raping daughter is understandable.
5. When a case is reported after a long gap, we cannot look for fresh injuries. This does not render the case false.
6. The evidence is clear, cogent and convincing. It is sufficient to convict.
7. No major inconsistencies in the story, the minor discrepancies must be overlooked.
8. When the victim is child of tender age and the case is reported after a long gap, there are bound to be inconsistencies, which must be overlooked.
9. The FIR is not an encyclopaedia. The victim is bound to offer more details during deposition. It cannot be termed as an “improvement”.
10. There are bound to be inconsistencies between the evidence of the victim and other witnesses.
11. Gesture of a child who does not understand sex are important and must be taken into account.
All is not lost.