File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Rape Culture In India

Rape is among the most common crime against women in India. It is defined under section 375[1] of IPC, 1860. It is a stigma that has been going on in society for a very long time. The rise in the number of rapes has paved the way for the creation of rape culture. A culture like this blames the victims and treats sexual violence as the norm. It treats rape as a problem that can be solved by bringing changes in the behaviour of the victims rather than improving that of rapists.

It not only destroys the victim but also constrains their freedom and limits their opportunities. Rape culture normalizes rape and allows it to flourish. Factors like ignorance of sex education in schools, objectification of women's bodies in pop culture, rape jokes and many more such things said or done trivialize sexual assault to even glamourize it.

The normalization of sexist behaviour is what leads to its growth. Through this paper we will be talking about rape culture, how is it getting promoted by us, and what should be done to stop it.

Rape Culture in India

India is a country of diversity with numerous cultures. Some of them are very old and some are newly discovered. The most archaic one which is still prevailing, about which people don't talk much but is known by everyone is 'Rape Culture'. This is a term that generally gets overshadowed because people do not want to accept the truth. It has become a part of our society because of the negative mindsets people have towards survivors and sexual violence in general.

So, the first thing we would like to highlight is what exactly Rape culture is.

Rape culture is a sociological setting in which rape and sexual violence are normalized. This type of culture grows from rape jokes, sexist behaviour, acceptance of toxic masculinity, victim blaming, and violent acts against women.

In simple words, it is a culture where victims are blamed and shamed as in, they asked for it, and perpetrators are protected. It trivializes sexual assaults and acts and makes them seem very normal. This type of culture judges the affected women and places the onus on their safety on their conduct.

Phrases such as 'Boys will be Boys' is a known examples of the shield which these perpetrators get which supports rape culture. I have always hated this saying as it let them make mistakes without fearing consequences while girls on the other hand suffer.

In India, rape is reported every 15 minutes according to official government crime data. In the year 2017, 32,500 cases of rape were registered with the police which means almost 90 per day. The National Crime Records Bureau on October 21, 2019, released its report for the year 2017, which stated that 359,849 cases of crime against women were reported within the country.[i] Well the numbers are much bigger as most of the rape cases go unreported.

This time when the whole country is under lockdown and the streets are relatively empty, who would have thought of listening to new rape cases, murders, and mutilations of women. So, the question arises that if women aren't safe from rape even amidst this pandemic situation, will they ever be?

Coming across such horrendous rape cases every day, I wonder what would be the factors contributing to the growth of rape culture in our country.

How Are We Promoting Rape Culture
There are several instances of people promoting Rape Culture.

Ignorance of Marital Rape

"My rapist doesn't even know he raped me, because the system told him he didn't".

Marital rape has given license to every man out there to have sexual intercourse with their partner without their consent. This is still not criminalized in India because the majority of people don't see things such as Marital Rape. The foremost reason given by the supporters of this legislation is to protect the sanctity of the institution of marriage. Here my question is - does being married change the social rules? It's we who made these social rules.

Women do not speak about it because of societal norms, the stigma against divorce, the fear of getting judged and abandoned by families, and societal rejection. Our system and our society both support marital rape which has given a bigger hand in the rapid growth of rape culture.

Use Of Rape Jokes

We all come across people using these types of jokes while having fun with their groups and mostly in case of fights. Survivors of sexual violence deserve empathy and support. They should not be made feel triggered for the sake of a few laughs. Also, these types of jokes validate rapists in their behavior and thinking. Making such jokes is just plain insensitive and wrong

Advising The Survivors To Refrain From Sharing Their Assault With The Authorities Or Outer World

This is the major reason why most rape cases go unnoticed. The victims are made silent on the notion that these things they encountered are normal to women and sharing it would lead to embarrassment in the society they live in. But the people need to understand that by doing this they are not only trivializing their trauma but also protecting the offenders from facing the legal action they deserved.

Blaming The Victim For The Inappropriate Actions Of The Sexual Offender

Rape not only destroys you physically but also mentally. The victims of sexual assault undergo a lot of mental traumata. If this isn't enough society expands it by shifting the blame onto them making their life miserable. In India, the victims of sexual assaults are treated so badly than the perpetrators of the crime.

This is one of the reasons why most of the victims end up taking their lives. Victim blaming marginalizes the survivor, making it harder for people to come forward and report the abuse they faced. By saying things like "you dressed inappropriately" or "you provoked him", you are holding the wrong person accountable.

Ignoring Misogynistic Songs And Scripts In Bollywood Movies

In psychology, there is a very famous experiment of the Bobo doll[ii] which tells us about a theory that how children adapt to the behaviour they are shown on television. This is why a lot of credit goes to Bollywood for objectifying women in the name of mere entertainment. And this is not only their fault, but it is ours too. We watch these kinds of movies which is why they keep on producing that.

There are still many more reasons on how are we as a society play a considerable role in the growth of rape culture. It is just we highlighted the major ones.

Everyone wants to stop rape but nobody knows exactly how to do it. This is the reason why we end up creating an atmosphere that actually supports it. Rape culture grows when people keep on normalizing everyday patriarchial beliefs. Such culture demonstrates itself in ways invisible to us.

It is only be seen if we recognize its existence in the films we watch, the way we speak, and the words we use. Even after so many years, women are still seen as the property of men which should be protected. In our society girls are restricted to wearing clothes that reveal their bodies but boys are not told that girl's bodies are not theirs for the taking and it is their sole responsibility to make sure they are safe to be with.

Men are not natural predators, our behaviour attitude and exterior factors contribute to making them so. Such behaviour is a product of rape culture. We all need to understand that it is us who are instilling discrete lessons in the minds of boys and girls about their position in society and their responsibility.

Now comes the importance of consent in such cases. Sex without consent is rape and here I am talking about marital rape. I find no valid justification for viewing non-consensual sex between married couples to be different from that of non-consensual sex between strangers. Nobody has a right to force his will upon any other person.

Nothing changes when nothing changes. So, there is a quick requirement for considerable changes in the law on sexual offenses. Rape culture is highly witnessed in the jokes we make and the cuss words used on regular basis, mostly by youth. It's high time to learn that jokes on rape are not at all funny. There should a line between sensible jokes and offensive comments.

Songs and movies that project women as objects must be banned and not allowed to be watched as people have a habit of recreating the scenes they watch in their real lives. Sex education is highly suggested in schools and colleges. When there will be a supportive and understanding environment for the children, they will not resort to pornography or random sites on the internet which could exploit their minds with filthy and negative thoughts.

At last, we want to talk about victim blaming which is also a prior concern. It should be noted that it isn't their fault or their dressing sense. If clothes were of concern, infants and aged women wouldn't have got raped. Instead of blaming we should provide them with an atmosphere in which they could help them to overcome the trauma they faced.

It is time that we stop putting blame on the victims and understand that it is the rapist who needs to get punished. We know it won't be easy but it is worth trying. Change comes when we stand together and fight for it. So let us unite in this and end rape culture at its root.


Also Read:

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly