by HALEY MILLAN Editor-in-chief
Outrage is spreading across India and many parts of the world as the Indian gang-rapes have continued.
In December of 2012, a student boarded a bus with her male friend. Once on the bus, five drunk men and the bus driver beat up the male friend and raped the girl in the back of the bus. She later died of her injuries. This was the start of the outrage in India, when it was proven that there needed to be a change.
Since the 2012 case, laws were strengthened, authorities became more responsive, and women are more likely to speak up about rape cases.
However, the outrage was further set off on May 27, 2014 after 14- and 16-year-old cousins were gang-raped and hanged from a mango tree. Five men are currently in custody so far, including three brothers and two police officers.
At the time when the bodies were found, crowds of people gathered around and protected the bodies from being taken down. The crowds were angry and accused the police officers of being on the suspects’ sides, so they blocked the bodies until arrests were made.
Women are scared and concerned, since the lack of plumbing in houses makes them vulnerable to rape if they leave their houses at night. The two teen girls left their house to relieve themselves the night of the rape and murder; the men had found them in an open field.
“I think it is so sad that there is still inequality between genders, and that women have to live in fear of being raped. It’s obvious laws don’t do enough to help women. Something needs to change in the mentalities of men,” says senior Alexandra Palmer.
The growing problem coming to light is the police officers who take part in the rapes and side with the assaulters, instead of protecting the women in the villages.
Most recently, a woman claimed that four police officers raped her when she went to the police station to pursue her husband’s release.
Because of all of the recent rape cases in India, many believe the rapes have to do with the culture. However, many people believe that these rape cases are now getting more media than any other, as most of the rape cases in India get coverage to spread awareness of the problem.
It is true that there are shock-worthy opinions of Indian officials.
State governor Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav said, “Boys will be boys. Sometimes they make mistakes.”
Madhya Pradesh state Home Minister Babulal Gaur, who leads the police, said, “[Rape] is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.”
Senior Evan Kane says, “I don’t understand how anyone can have that backwards kind of mindset in 2014. It’s crazy to think of how different other people’s views are in other countries.”
Regardless of whether India has a rape culture or not, it is evident that they are making an effort to clean up their act and help rape victims. Protestors are spreading awareness so that hopefully soon enough, these horrific stories will rarely make the news.
What do you think India should do to end the growing gang-rape problems?