The Human Impact

Public fury over gang-rape in India: Let’s keep up the pressure

So perhaps at last India has woken up to the daily abuse that its girls and women face.

Sunday night’s horrific rape where a 23-year-old woman was beaten and gang-raped on a bus as it drove through the streets of New Delhi has rightly outraged the entire nation.

In a country where news reports of sexual violence against girls and women are commonplace, yet provoke little public reaction, the events over the last four days have been unusual but welcome.

Political parties, university students and women’s rights groups have taken to the streets in cities across the nation to criticise the police and government for not doing enough to stem increasing reports of rape in the capital. Blockading roads and, in some cases, breaking through police barricades to have water cannons fired upon them, they have demanded better protection for girls and women on the streets.

Broadcasting minute-by-minute coverage, 24/7 news channels have kept the country updated in the aftermath of the incident. No detail has been spared – from the condition of the victim who is now fighting for her life in hospital, to the arrests of five men, including the bus driver, to a variety of panel discussions with politicians, social activists and women who have faced sexual harassment in Delhi’s public spaces.

In India, rapists walk free as victims “shamed” into suicide

Of course, it’s hard to imagine being raped (and who would want to). But just for a minute try and think about it.

Imagine you are returning home from work, walking down a busy road in early hours of the evening, perhaps from the train station or the bus stop to your home as you usually do.

Suddenly a car pulls up slightly ahead of you and as you walk by, the rear doors open and two men get out. Without any hesitation, they grab you and bundle you into the back seat.

    •