Shayad Behtar Hota agar Marr hi jati “, said her favorite aunt from the neighborhood.

About 92 women are raped in India every day, the criminal act still remaining a stigma in our society. As if the entire experience wasn’t traumatic enough for her, they don’t forget to remind her day in and day out about how ‘impure’ her body has become, she hadn’t even absorbed what had happened yet, they couldn’t stop themselves from blaming her for it.

“ I was traveling from my office to my home like any other day” , how was she to know that the parents she was returning home to would no longer want to see her face, her husband would no longer touch her again, the people she said hello to her every morning would not accept her, what had changed? The woman thought what had changed? This was the time she needed all of them the most, needed time to heal, but that one night of horror had affected others more than her?

Those men killed her enough, does society have more to add on to it? She survived, they didn’t let her forget; they didn’t let her live.

No longer the 14-year school going girl, she was the girl who got raped, though survivors of rape, they can’t hide from the unforgiving, emotionless, judgemental eyes of the very society we all live in.

One would say, didn’t your mother teach you better, why did you wear that dress? It was the dresses fault wasn’t it, if society were the court, the dress would have been hanging in the jail cell instead of the man who has never been taught how to see a woman. He sinned, he committed the crime, he took away the right and consent of a woman, he wasn’t questioned, it was just fine to keep victimizing the victim more and more.

But what was the fault of a four-year-old, was she out too late, were her clothes immodest, was it her doing? She who doesn’t even realize what rapes means, doesn’t know how to spell it, is told how there is no life left for her, no one will want to marry her, she drops out of school, lives a miserably painful life, and then even she ends up thinking, maybe yes, I would have been better off dead.

Over this past decade where we have seen an increase in growth in our country, sadly there has been a staggering increase of rapes by 200% whereas conviction rates have fallen from 41% to 24%. Gang rapes have been flooding the news every day, from the Nirbhaya case of 2012 in Delhi to Shakti Mills gangrape of 2013 in Mumbai, there no city left safe for a woman in India, let alone women not even girls. The horrifying case of the 8-month old infant in 2018 who was raped in her own house by her cousin had taken everyone by shock. A similar case that had happened in 2016 to an 11-month old by a construction worker who brutally raped her for 2 hours, what did these infants do to ever see such a horrendous side of the world even before they could learn to walk in it.

The women survive it, are strong enough to handle it, their stare weakens her slowly, taking away the light in her, often dragging her to take her own life. She is never allowed to get out of it, reminded of it again and again, making it impossible for her to breathe, forcing her to use her own hand to choke herself to death. There are hundreds of women who survive a rape, but these warriors having no love, no support; being belittled and isolated by the society, unaccepted they end up committing suicide.

Some marched with candles in their hands, some just poked her with them, how can one live when every time they get out of their house, walk down the street, all they can hear are words, words hurting them, a reminder of the day when their right to be happy was snatched, not just by those rapists but by everyone around.

A three-year-old girl was raped in Kashmir in May 2019, though the accused was arrested, the girl still remains afraid of strangers, is scared of going to the bathroom. A child so young, should not be punished by society for the doing of someone else. She deserves a life as beautiful as any of the girls her age do, she should be able to dream to be someone and not be burdened further by the judgmental society.

According to the rape reports of 2016, there were 38,900 rapes, whereas only 95% of rapes get reported, if a woman survives, humiliated by the society she lives, so what if it was unreported and media didn’t cover it, the society won’t mind saying a few words about what happened, so what if in the process the victim itself is affected. From about every 4 rapists in India only 1 is convicted, so the rest 3 roam unaffected, yet she who was wronged doesn’t get the liberty to.

The story of a teenager who had to go through it twice and relive it every passing moment where all she wanted was to get away from that nightmare. A 15-year-old returning home from her coaching center in Ghaziabad was assaulted by three men, they knew she had been raped before, they asked her and all she could think about was the dreadful night when she and her mother were raped in Noida in 2016 when she was 13.

A juvenile gets spared with only 3 years in a correction home after committing rape, hideously using an iron rod on a woman, but a teenage rape victim will be shamed upon for the rest of her life. The very same case, wife on one of the rapists denies accepting that her husband committed this crime but if it’ll be a husband of a rape victim, it is justified for him to just leave her alone.

Without trying to blame or pity her, it’s better to just be with her when she needs you, give her the time to heal and treat her the way you would treat any woman you love, something bad happened to her, it was not her who did something bad. Mothers sit their daughters down to tell them about how to remain safe, just forget to include their brothers in that too. It is high time that society understands that comforting the rape victim is more important than finding whom to blame for, it is the duty of her family to understand her emotions, not just isolate her and every woman ought to believe that her respect cannot be taken away by the actions or words of others.

She is a pure soul, a symbol of power and the definition of perfection, those are the things they should be pointing on.

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