|By Vincent D'sa, Shankerpura, Pangala/Muscat [ Published Date: November 24, 2014 ]|
Rape and The Society; where we are heading?
I was reading a few articles related to the crime, rape. Everyone is busy blaming government and police. I felt the necessity of adding a different angle to it. That is to take the blame as well as responsibility of ending it on us, the society; rather than police, law and the government .Let us ask a simple question to ourselves, from where they (rapists) come from? The answer is, they too come from society in which we exist. No one is born deviated. Then who creates them? We, some of us in the society. When we know how to produce these malfunctioning goods, we should know how to stop the production also.
I thought of writing this article because I had an opportunity to talk and counsel the person who had received death penalty. Now I am in touch with a person / family case, the events are slowly turning into accusation like child sex abuse (pedophilic) I did not expected in this ďcultured familyĒ to hear these types of serious allegations. Many a times I have come across Mangalorean women working as housemaids in Gulf, with Mangalorean families. Some of them suffer silently in the hands of their own people without proper salary, weekly offs etc. One aged lady told me that her employer counts grapes even before keeping inside the fridge! A female teacher told me when discussing this subject (rape) about receiving an intimate message from her student of class 10th (Question is from where he gather courage) and she is also frequently troubled by a bisexual female (mother of the student, married having kids and husband!).
When a rape is reported all of us make a big noise for some days and then fall silent again and fail to find out what exactly is going wrong. Most of the incidents are nothing to do much with the general reasons we talk about like womenís dress code, Childhood abuse etc.; but something to do with one gateway; as a society where we are heading toward. What environment we have at our home and the society, to produce criminals like rapists and what we are doing about it, to fix the problem.
Causes; Glorified reasons and the Fact.
As no one is born deviated to rape or kill; the environment they grew up prepares them silently and systematically to be violent. If we study these persons profile, majority of them come from broken families, abused mentally physically or sexually during their formative years. We the society, some of us abuse them. Uneasy childhood fuelled by addiction of drugs, alcohol, and more importantly exposure to the pornography in the early adult stage is a perfect play ground to become sexually violent. Some rapists hold grudge against society and women in particular. Naturally they are deprived of love education and recognition.
The fact is most of them (the current trend) are for easy sexual gratification when they feel that victim is easily available and could be harmless to them. Not to forget the role of easily available porn material fuelled by alcohol.
Remember that all are not equally reactive to a particular situation. Some are maladaptive. We are all born naked and raw. Society has created certain norms, rules and regulations .A hurt mind full of vengeance thoughts decorated and hidden inside a beautiful body sometimes explode If we havenít exploded doesnít indicate that others should not .Childhood determines what we will become in the future. Kindly donít compare our environment with theirs. Before his execution Americas most terrified serial rapist and killer Tedd Bundy who raped and killed uncountable females (over 50) attributed his wrong doings to his exposure to pornography at the early adulthood. He got used to violent sexual gratification.
Most of the rapists are known to victims in the form of relativeís neighbors well wishers colleagues and so on. Most of those incidents donít get reported at all. When an attacker is from outside, a stranger, such few incidents only get reported. When the attacker is from outside also, he carefully selects his victim, victim may not be knowing him, but the attacker knew the victim.
Judiciary, Police and the Government.
Whenever a rape is reported we blame the police and the government instead of blaming self. How can police control when a rapist comes from our own house, street and mohalla? They have a role once it is reported but before that it is in our hand to be alert. We may have also noticed that these rapists are generally not rowdy sheeters or robbers. They donít carry a knife or gun, these predators are difficult to recognize in advance. They work purely on their muscles to show their power. Their mindset is entirely a different ball game altogether. That is the reason why police canít do much, before a rape takes place.
No law, no government and police petrol can prevent rapes. After Nirbhays episode so many strict laws were made. Even then the numbers of rapes have multiplied. One of the reasons why we witness more incidents of rape now is, people are reporting it because there are more strict laws prevailing now which were not earlier. Only a vigilant and alert society can prevent this crime. As we are all aware, the most heinous crimes reported from Mangalore and Udupi district in the past3 or 4 years, some of them were committed by people having education and noble profession. How can we expect police or government prevent these people from committing such crimes? Look at the culture we have developed in our household now, compare it with our past and you will get the answer!
I donít think there is anything in our judicial system to prevent any crime not only rape. If anything it is to punish once the crime is done. In fact the corrective centers are creating more criminals.
Possible Solutions; sealing the factory
Let us discuss a few steps that may help reduce these crimes from root level itself.
Family Environment; As all of we know that a happy family is the foundation for a peaceful society, disputes within the family should be handled carefully. A broken family structure may impart many evils to the society .When there is dispute there is lack emotional and physical bonding between the couple resulting in depression and alcoholism .May be one fine day a rapist may arise from this type of unsatisfied environment, perticulerly if there is lack of education in such environment. (Kindly watch the movie ĎFireĒ directed by Deepa Mehta; the film explains how lesbians are born in a simple family).
It is also important as a responsible member of the society to keep watch on our neighborhood for any wrong doings, help solve if anything wrong or report to authorities. Friends, there is no absolute vacuum, kindly re-establish the human connectivity which has almost broken down. Then these elements will disappear automatically. Compare the past and the present time. You will realize that the lack of human connectivity is the main culprit in rising levels of crime.
As day by day our sexual fantasies are sending us toward ďforest cultureí (from where we brought AIDS and now Ebola on its way in a big way), some wild animals (rapists) from the forests also do visit our society (may be under cultural exchange programme!).
Education; In schools in Indian system, we need to address life science also, rather than just focusing only on numbers. Subject like psychology is totally absent from the curriculum! It is still an optional from 11th onward. At least a few lessons like body language, cognitive structure may be included in elementary level itself, in regular subjects like science or social studies to help children understand about human psyche.
Sex education should be made compulsory at school level. What we try to hide is easily available in wrong packages to our children. Why canít we provide it in right ways? Better we talk to children straight with right approach and solve their doubts and curiosity. We in India consider talking about sex and death as taboo, which is an integral part of our lives. This negative mindset must change immediately.
Alcohol and other substance abuse; Kindly stop taking drinks in front of growing children. Let us explain our children the ill effects of using any type of substance abuse including alcohol. When we drink alcohol we actually drink weakness and crime; nonsense, false prestige and style; it is not alcohol alone we drink.
Childrenís access to porn; Stop giving expensive gifts to children particularly cell phones. Donít give cell phones before class 10th.Even when you give later see that it has only basic functions like to make and receive calls, a very basic model. See that your children use the computer in the visitorís room in front of you to avoid watching porn material secretly.Dont allow children to remain out of home single after 7.30 pm. This is very essential. Educate children against sex crimes and sex offenders, peodophilics, gays and lesbians.
Our parentís attitude has changed drastically over a decade. Financial achievements and liberties have done a lot of harm to the society. Everyone has developed the sense of feeling of importance in the society; somehow we want to be in limelight and we are using our children to show off. We feel proud to tell our childrenís stories about how they handle electronic gadgets which we cannot do and many more things like this. We are turning a blind eye on our childrenís activities. 15year oldS are riding bikes/cars on road without license! If society has reached this stage our elders , peers and parents has to take the blame on them rather blaming the police, law and government.
Protect your male children; It is not only your girl child; male child also is in danger in the modern society. Donít ever take this lightly. Under the quickly changing modern scenario Gays (and lesbians too) are one more threat society is witnessing today. They may be anywhere in any form. Porn has created so many nuisances in our society some people may go for any type of sexual fantasy. (I have personally experienced their advances a few times and had to warn them and change the seat!). Keep a watch on your school going children whether boy or girl, if they found to be depressed inactive and not eating properly that is the time you talk to them gently to find out the fact .If you doubt their version of answer, seek doctors or counselors help. Donít simply assume it to fever; head ache etc.Sexual attack in childhood may destroy our children psyche permanently.
An attack by a homosexual may remain unnoticed because children may be knowing how to report a heterosexual attack(attack by opposite gender) but may fail to do so when attacked by a homosexual( boy by a gay and girl by lesbian).
Awareness Campaign. Create a lot of awareness programmes, like street plays, steadily. Social clubs like Rotary Lions and college unions can play a vital role over here. Let every social function where people assemble in big numbers like drama etc, the function may start and end with safety message for children and women. Sermons at holy places (church masjid and temples) may be used to raise awareness in this regard.
One suggestion to school authorities that school buses may be driven by females, it is because every day at every school, a moment comes at the end of the day, just one or two children remains in the bus which is dangerous. A full female pick up and drop off bus is safer always.
Social Attitude; finally and very importantly, we need to change our attitude toward the victims in the society. We need to stop seeing them as something strange. They need to be considered gracefully and with all dignity. Rape should not be taken as bad incident as far as victimís future is considered. We should not punish them with our negative mindset and make them pay for not their mistake.
Caution; The hidden dangerous facts
One more risk factor that doesnít come to the frontline for discussion is, many of the present day children / young adults those are exposed to porn via cell phone and computer when suddenly come under sexual attack there is a chance that they may start enjoy it secretly for various reasons including the threat from the attacker. They may feel guilty and confused initially; but may be slowly get used to the fatal attraction of sex and may not report at all leading to more severe complications in the future.
How do we recognize these predators those live with us? As we know most of these crimes were occurred under the influence of alcohol, we need to keep a watch on alcoholics and drug abusers. It is important to keep track of the deviated young adults and isolated people those prefer to stay alone, like police stations maintain rowdy sheet. Due to readily available pornography in every handset, these categories of people (deviated and substance abused) carry a raw image of female in the back of their mind always, shaped by their exposure to this porn and commit heinous crimes. Alcohol adds fuel to it.
Role of Media
Kindly do not glorify rape incidents beyond limits in the media. I heard recently during one of such conversation on this topic the type of mindset our own daughters/ sisters might be having about their male family members. Donít glorify the blame game on males to such an extent that our daughters/sisters may find it difficult to reach their own siblings and fathers. Ladies; kindly note that when a male member of your home ventures out, he is one among the males, you blame. All those advices you give will be applicable to your father husband and siblings also. Criticism should be case to case based, not in general. Instances are coming up slowly where many cases were filed falsely to settle personal grudge like the misuse of dowry law. Also to show a quick result under pressure from media and public, an innocent may be framed in haste without proper investigation being carried out. Also kindly donít ill treat other family members of the rapist. I am writing this particularly because I heard from an eyewitness that how a rapistís aged mother was crying inconsolably for her sonís crime.
These crimes are not going to stop and what best we can do is to reduce it by being alert. Media and the entire society has a collective responsibility to contain this crime because target group is school going young kids. Let us not sit idle trying to pass the blame on police and government. We need to wake up before the evil knocks at our doorstep.
A question to Rapists
Before concluding, a simple question to you rapist; you give plenty of reasons to commit a crime like rape. If you have been abused during childhood, you should have been the first wall of defense against such crimes. But look what you are doing? You canít fool the society like this; we are not convinced with your explanation. The society from which you got deviated, if you see the other part of it just filled with good people ready to help you. Look at them and ask for help. If we can go by your theory, can victimís family those you have targeted now to satisfy your lust, enter your home and take revenge on your female family members for the crime you have committed? No matter how much you have suffered in the past, no reason is valid to commit a crime. Because as an adult we have the responsibility and capacity to think rationally and are capable of navigating the self to the safety. If you are capable of thinking and executing a heinous crime well planned, you also should be capable of thinking not to commit the crime and remain normal as you were till that point. There are many help lines available for you to help self, to come out of your unpleasant past if any. Only thing you have to do is to think straight, use those helplines and stop giving excuses for being a monster and robbing someoneís life and future along with yours because you wonít be spared either by the society and law.
Vincent D'sa is currently based in Dubai / Muscat. Studied Masters in Psychology and a master practitioner of neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and a counselor.