India's Rape Culture Can End
Protests offer hope that things will change: Sonia Faleiro
By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2013 1:43 PM CST
Indians hold a candle light vigil to salute the undying spirit of a rape victim and to mourn her death in New Delhi, India.   (AP Photo/ Saurabh Das)

(Newser) – Sonia Faliero lived in New Delhi for 24 years and says sexual harassment there "is as regular as a meal." The culture is "habituated to the debasement of women," she writes in the New York Times, evidenced by the "packs of men" who harass women on the street, the police who don't seem to care where it leads, and male politicians' absurd blame-the-women attitudes. Still, the outcry that followed the horrific rape and killing of a 23-year-old medical student gives Faliero reason to hope that things will change.

It was practically a "miracle," she writes. "Tens of thousands of people took to the streets and faced down police officers, tear gas, and water cannons to express their outrage." Theirs "was the most vocal protest against sexual assault and rape in India to date." Now this must translate into police taking assaults seriously for once—last year, only one of 600 reported rape cases in the city led to a conviction. "If victims believe they will receive justice, they will be more willing to speak up. If potential rapists fear the consequences of their actions, they will not pluck women off the streets with impunity." Click to read Faleiro's full column.

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Jan 15, 2013 10:17 AM CST
The Pro-Life fanatics must be doing cartwheels by now.
Jan 2, 2013 3:54 PM CST
In a so called civilised country, you would not believe acts of this nature could happen and with apparent frequency. But this is what happens when for one reason or another, a certain person, whether by race, gender or religion are not respected. It should be a stated Human Right, that all humans should expect to receive respect from their fellow beings. If this finds not to be so, then the forces of Law and Order should ensure anyone not showing this respect, be punished accordingly. When the forces of Law and Order can not be expected to show this respect, then anarchy is the outcome. One hopes that the outcome of this abhorant act is seen as the catalyst to a change for respect of others to be ensured in the India Society.
Jan 2, 2013 3:08 PM CST
"The culture is "habituated to the debasement of women," This is very, very sad.