Last year on Dec. 16, a 23-year-old medical intern in India's capital of New Delhi was brutally raped. Her rapists penetrated her with a rod and tore her inner organs out. She died 13 days later. Before she died, she told the police to "burn them alive."
One of the six accused rapists hanged himself in prison. The youngest accused was a juvenile and was sentenced to only three years in prison. Four others were found guilty on all counts of murder and rape and face their sentencing on Friday, Sept. 13. India has demanded their death, and the four face the possibility of hanging.
On Aug. 22, a 23-year-old photojournalist from Mumbai was gang raped by a group of five men who had allegedly preyed on 10 other women before being arrested for their heinous crimes.
The brutality and frequency of these rapes have made international headlines, tarnishing India's reputation.
While ordinary citizens have taken to the streets to protest these savage crimes and demand justice, it is shocking to note that the people who lead them often have the worst notions about rape, not only in India, but the world over.
Here are 22 really awful things people have said about rape:
1. The 14-year-old victim was "as much in control of the situation" as her 54-year-old rapist.
2. Choose between a "promiscuous culture" and a "safe environment."
3. "...the sort of fashion sense on stage that surely invites rape at worst, disrespect at least."
4. "Won't someone rape her, just to make her understand what victims of this terrible crime feel?"
5. "She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky."
6. To avoid getting raped, "...young ladies should not drink too much."
7. Increased military rapes are a result of the "hookup mentality" in schools.
8. "The victim is as guilty as her rapists... She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop."
9. Women are "equally responsible" for crimes committed against them.
10. "Women should not venture out with men who are not relatives."
11. "What is happening is we have imbibed the US. We have lost all the values we had in cities."
12. "Where 'Bharat' becomes 'India' with the influence of western culture, these type of incidents happen."
13. "If consensual sex with a 16-year-old is not rape, why can't girls be married at 16?"
14. "Pretty women" who protest against rapes are "dented and painted."
15. "Just because the country attained independence at midnight, is it proper for women moving at midnight?"
16. "The rape thing" does not excuse abortions.
17. Rapes are on the rise because "men and women interact with each other more freely now."
18. "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down."
19. "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage..."
20. Pregnant rape victims should "make the best out of a bad situation."
21. If women dress provocatively, then "rapes are not in the control of the police."
22. "If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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