“The fact is – and rightly so, the number of British visitors to the Indian resort of Goa, has fallen dramatically in the wake of a series of murders and rapes of foreign tourists.
Remember British teenager Scarlett Keeling?
Take note also that in India – Rape and violence are also about a misplaced sense of power and about wanting to humiliate a woman and teach her, or through her, the family a lesson!”
Globally, if apathy has not set in, many of you should remember 2012!
That was the year when a tragic notorious gang-rape and murder took place of a Delhi student!
That tragic incident in Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s India shone a spotlight on sexual violence in that country to greater heights!
Yes, India – we are told stood still, united in its anger and revulsion at the horrific rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in the national capital.
The media named the gang rape victim as “Nirbhaya—the Fearless One!”
What happened as it would, in any other capital of the world post tragedy and a media blitz, was mass street protests and tightening of Indian laws, including the broadening of the definition of rape.
But then can in 2017, we ask how are things looking not just in India, but, rest of the world on issues pertaining to violence against women?
And how are things looking for the average Indian woman?
My colleagues in India, advise me that despite all the hype, promises, political speeches, active debates among lawmakers in Parliament, awareness campaigns and a host of measures to curb violence against women, the picture today – 2017 – is no less grim and cold!
If you are a woman, whether you grew up in a rural or urban setting, lived at home or ventured into a new city away from family, work in an office or manage your house full-time—the fear of sexual harassment is real, constant and getting wild!
The same goes to foreigners and tourist traveling alone!
Friends of mine in the diplomatic services, in the judiciary, in active legal practice, and active NGOs advise me that in 2016, over 300,000 women were kidnapped, raped, molested—and in some extreme cases, killed—by men across the country.
That is shocking if true!
They reiterate that figure is almost a 27 percent increase since 2012!
The year – the world’s attention was drawn to the problem of sexual violence against women in India.
According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau, the government agency that keeps track of the country’s crime rate, cases of violent abuse of women, have steadily increased since 2009.
By 2013, the number of such cases has increased by over 50 percent.
If my mathematics is correct, that is simply over 848 women, who are either harassed, raped or killed after abduction every single day. Some are sold off to traffickers.
And we all know how bad that is and it has become an industry today!
And shockingly, Delhi is the worst offender in such cases.
I am advised that India’s capital city is the epicenter, of almost thrice the amount of sexual crimes against women than the national average
I am reminded that despite Andhra Pradesh in south India and Uttar Pradesh in the north register more than one-fifth of the total crimes against women, Delhi has by far the worst crime rate.
It has also recorded the highest increase in percentage of rape cases across the country.
In 2013, almost 34,000 women were raped.
A 35.2 percent rise from 2012, with the highest rate of increase in Delhi.
Shockingly, my dear friends and readers across the globe, – my blog at http://www.drjacobgeorge.com/ a sizeable portion of the rape survivors, over 13 percent, are very sadly, under the age of 14 years!
Yes, you read right – 14 years of age!
And using the reasonable man’s test, if one counts all the women who are raped by the time, they turn 18, that will be almost 40 percent of the entire demographic of women rape survivors?
And the reality of these attacks and those committing them, in all cases are neighbors, parents, a close family member or other relatives.
Rapes in 15 out of India’s 35 states and Union Territories are only committed by people known to the survivor.
And may I ask what have they done with the perpetrators of his heinous crime?
Delhi in the north, Assam and Tripura in the northeast, and Rajasthan in the west are the most unsafe states for women in India.
And tragically, if rape or murder takes place in tourist attracted Goa, for example – the excuse seems to be – “the bikini made me do it!”
That is the defense Goa, India’s state ministry of tourism responded with after a series of sexual assaults against tourists, even children, vacationing in the area, topping off most recently with the alleged rape of a 9-year-old Russian girl!
And the response from a government servant, an idiot to say the least.
“You can’t blame the locals; they have never seen such women.
Foreign tourists must maintain a certain degree of modesty in their clothing.”
So my dear friends, from which ever global city you come from, who is planning to visit Goa as a tourist destination, you are hereby warned against the prevailing official sentiment!
If you wearing bikinis in a tourist destination, known for its renowned beaches, you are to be blamed for the rapes and sexual assaults on the rise in Goa, not the perpetrators who happen to be politicians, well connected individuals, beach boys cum pimps, locals, criminals and those involved in the drugs cartel!
You – women wearing bikinis at the beach are just asking to be raped?
That is the official sentiment!
Even the recent cold, calculated and mindless case of a very young Russian girl, who was raped, where her attacker had a calculated and planned attack, using an accomplice to distract her mother, so he could lure her away and rape her behind a nearby rock!
No, he did not spring into action, at the sight of her in a bikini – he waited for the opportune moment, a moment, that presented itself as a result of his planning.
Shockingly, politicians and even those expected to protect and serve, are making excuses for the men who commit rapes and blaming women for the violence committed against them!
Yes this is infuriating and moreover does absolutely nothing to address the problem of sexual assaults in the first place.
Perhaps, female tourists should just boycott Goa?
Come instead to my country, Malaysia, where the Police force is dedicated, committed and have zero tolerance for violence against women, let alone rape!
Anyway, this is the same Goa where several years ago British teenager Scarlett Keeling was raped and murdered!
That was rather traumatic and painful not just the deceased family but the whole of the UK!
That is why I scream boycott these destinations!
And when the tourist dollars dry up, let us see what the stakeholders in the tourist industry and politicians do in protecting their business interests?
They will initiate a change we can believe in with their tails between their legs!
Fast forward, India’s Silicon valley – Bangalore.
The southern megacity—sometimes known as the Silicon Valley of India, which is the epicenter of India’s technological revolution.
Here the center with India’s bourgeoisie, young, educated professionals from all over India and surrounding countries have moved to Bangalore to work in the rapidly growing IT industry, causing the city to double its population in the last 15 years.
As a result, the women of the city have long enjoyed a degree of freedom, not afforded to their sisters in northern cities like Delhi, which has been called the “rape capital of India” for its high prevalence of sexual assault!
All this raises questions, on the events of New Year’s Eve, where women out celebrating on a main street at the heart of the city’s festivities, MG Road, as well as in other parts of the city, have reported being groped and sexually assaulted by groups of men.
The so-called “mass molestation,” as it has been reported by the Indian press, has focused national and international attention on a part of India traditionally believed to be relatively safe for women.
And the apathy and incompetence, of those expected to protect women and uphold security without fear or favor?
So, what is the answer to the violence against women, just not only in India, but globally?
What difference can be made with fast track and new women protection legalization, the direct involvement of sitting MPs, statutory support systems, the using the media extensively, both to censure and educate the masses, bringing into the narrative religious groups, NGOs, Medical groups for support, and an active no nonsense approach by those in the Police force and other government agencies to protect the rights and interests of those, who are victims?
In recent years, some countries have taken significant steps, towards improving laws relating to violence against women.
In July 1991, Mexico revised its rape law in several important ways.
A provision was eliminated that allowed a man who rapes a minor to avoid prosecution if he agrees to marry her.
Malaysian judiciary and legal intelligentsia, please do take careful note!
Now judges are required to hand down a decision regarding access to an abortion within five working days.
On 9 June 1994, the Organization of American States adopted the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Violence against Women (also called Convention of Belem do Para), a new international instrument that recognizes all gender-based violence as an abuse of human rights.
This Convention provides an individual right of petition and a right for non-governmental organizations to lodge complaints with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.
In Australia, a National Committee on Violence against Women was established to co-ordinate the development of policy, legislation and law enforcement at the national level as well as community education on violence against women.
In 1991, the Government of Canada announced a new four-year Family Violence Initiative intended to mobilize community action, strengthen Canada’s legal framework, establish services on Indian reservations and in Inuit communities, develop resources to help victims and stop offenders, and provide housing for abused women and children.
In Turkey, it was really proactive and adventurous where, a Ministry of State for Women was established, whose main goals are, among others, to promote women’s rights and strengthen their role in economic, social, political and cultural life.
Legal measures are being adopted towards the elimination of violence against women.
The establishment of special courts to deal with violence is envisaged.
Psychological treatment for abused women is also planned, along with the establishment of women’s shelters around the country.
Specially trained female police officers would provide assistance to victims of violence.
In Burkina Faso, a strong advertising campaign by the Government as well as television and radio programmes on the unhealthy practice of genital mutilation were launched to educate and raise public awareness about the dangerous consequences of such an “operation”.
A National Anti-Excision Committee was established in 1990 by the present head of State.
Today, the practice of genital mutilation has been eliminated in some villages of Burkina Faso.
In others, there has been an incredible drop in the number of girls excised: only 10 per cent of the girls are excised compared to 100 per cent 10 years ago.
Some countries have introduced police units specially trained for dealing with spousal assault.
In Brazil specific police stations have been designated to deal with women’s issues, including domestic violence.
These police stations are staffed entirely by women.
These examples illustrate some steps, taken at the International level towards the eradication of violence against women.
Combating and eradicating this scourge require enhanced and concerted efforts, to protect women at the local, national and international levels.
Some States have tended to adopt a passive attitude when confronted by cases of violations of women’s rights by private actors and politically connected individuals and their families and this must be addressed especially in countries like the Arab states!
Where, most laws fail to protect victims or to punish perpetrators.
Passing laws to criminalize violence against women is an important way to redefine the limits of a civilized acceptable behavior.
States should ensure that national legislation, once adopted, does not go unenforced.
State responsibility is clearly underlined in Article 4 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, which stipulates that “States should exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or by private persons.”