When a woman is raped, her life comes to a complete standstill sans the slightest hope that she can look up to. More than rape, it is the impact that lingers on and makes her feel guilty to even carry forward with her life. But should her life come to a halt?
Let us walk through what a rape victim goes through in our society.
While it is true that no one but the victim can comprehend the depth of the situation, but being abused as a child and seeing its impact make its way to my body image and any intimate relationships that I have to this date, I can empathize with the situation.
Imagine being told that you will no longer have the right or control on your own body. That is what happens to a woman being raped. The rapist either driven by revenge or perverse needs or pursuit of sadistic pleasure, degrades a woman to a mere object. The victim has no control on her own body as she helplessly watches her rapist breach her modesty and tries to rob her of her dignity. As she lies there at the mercy of her own abuser, watching her body being toyed about like an object, she loses a part of her soul and her faith in the higher power.
But it doesn’t end there for her. She has to take the big decision whether she is ready to keep her trauma as a dark secret that will haunt her till her end or will she muster courage to stand up against her culprits and in doing so risk the wrath of the entire world.
No matter what she chooses, it isn’t an easy road ahead. In our country, reporting a rape is in itself a torture. The protectors of the society who are entrusted upon with the task of maintaining law and order, will shatter apart the victim’s composure in the name of legal procedures.
She is made to go through the inhumane and outdated practice of two finger tests as a part of medical proof of rape which leaves her even more traumatized. She has to walk through the entire duration of rape over and over again, in the police station and court of law only to get her chance at justice. But even in the most favourable circumstances of having her culprits punished, her struggle doesn’t end.
Because now she has to face the society. Divided on its stance, while one segment continues to hurl allegations at her character and blaming her for the rape, the other part of the society asks of her to drown in pity for now she has lost her dignity. Either way, it is her will power that is continuously thrashed by the world.
She is told that she has lost her dignity and has become impure. Any man who marries her is hailed as a saint for taking in a tainted woman. All her life, she has to fight the world even though she was wronged. All her life she has to pay the price of a sin that she did not commit.
Why should her life come to a halt just because we wouldn’t let her move past the incident? Isn’t it our foremost duty to create a society that gives the rape victims a new lease at life and treats them with the necessary sensitivity instead of shaming them? They have fought enough and they are going to fight against the repercussions of the wrong done to them, but we can make the fight a little easier.