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What we need to do as a society to reduce rapes

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After the gruesome & heinous rape and murder of Dr. Preeti Reddy (name changed) there has been a lot of outpouring of emotions on social media, which is understandable. The last time such a reaction was seen was during the Nirbhaya Case which had shaken the conscience of our nation. But what changed? Nothing. That’s why I believe these cases can’t be tackled by pure emotions alone. We need to take a leaf out of Armed Forces who prepare themselves after a major incident of terrorism and then collect intelligence, prepare themselves and attack at the right time to ensure their mission is successful. So how do we tackle these? We’ll have to fight on many fronts.

First is the judicial front. Our laws are archaic and most were made by British. In the past 70 years we have put bandages and tried to make do with them but now is the time to start from scratch by wiping the slate clean. Our Home Minister has constituted some panels for reviewing of IPC & CrPC and this needs to be done as fast as possible. Furthermore not only new laws for rape but even special courts and a dedicated agency should be constituted for this menace. If the situation is so serious, then the response should be of equal measure too. This will ensure that proper investigation, fast tracking of judgement and time bound execution of punishment for the crime will create a deterrence in the minds of future potential rapists.

But this is all for action after the incident. What can be done to prevent them in the first place ? We as a society will need to play a very big part in it. We will we have to dwell into the minds of these vile human beings to gauge what goes on in their minds to prevent the festering of this type of thinking among others. Our movies, serials, web series & songs will have to stop the objectification of women in general and the ‘ladki ki naa mein haan hai’ phrase in particular will have to banned from being used again. No Means No, will have to be the mantra going forward.

Furthermore we will have to counsel the survivors and their families to actually come out and report the cases where the perpetrator is known to them. Our society will have to stop the ‘izzat loot gayi’ shaming of the victim and actually shame the accused instead. We will have to understand that a rape does not diminish a female in any form and we should never ever treat her in such a way. It is not her fault and will never be. We should not sympathize but support them in their fight.

Additionally we will have to impart self defence classes to everyone irrespective of their gender because it’s just practical to know such training in case of a situation which may warrant it. Not only will it help the women but also the men when they want to prevent such incidents or molestation or even “eve teasing” type incidents. What we do need to remember is that as a society we have become accustomed to giving knee jerk reactions to everything but they don’t result in anything.

We will have to channel this anger into something constructive so that we can not only prevent such incidents from happening but also give befitting punishment to the perpetrators in a time bound trial.

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