16 December 2013 by

A Year After The Rape In Delhi, Women Are Still In Danger

A Year After The Rape In Delhi, Women Are Still In Danger

Students hold placards during a protest against the Delhi gang rape case [PTI]

It was a crime that shocked the world. On 16 December 2012, a 23-year-old student was brutally gang raped on a bus, dying from her catastrophic injuries days later.

And now a year on, a new BBC Radio 4 documentary has revealed the situation for women in Delhi is just as dangerous.

‘There’s still a sense of fear on the streets’, says Joanna Jolly, who travelled to Delhi for the documentary. ‘Women are simply not on the streets by themselves after dark. The rape last year is still very prevalent on people’s minds.’

And for good reason. According to a local doctor, the level of violence against women in the aftermath of the Delhi attack has increased.

‘We’re seeing lots more cases of gang rape’, says Dr Aruna Batra, who works at Delhi’s main hospital. ‘They [attackers] think girls are more courageous now so they can ‘handle’ one man more easily. They are also using foreign objects in rape – it’s becoming much more prevalent.’

Earlier this year, the National Crime Records Bureau's annual report of crime statistics revealed a woman is raped somewhere in India every 20 minutes, and the number of children raped has increased by 336% in the past 10 years.

This is despite tough new laws introduced in March which allowed the death penalty - carried out very rarely in India - to be handed down in the most serious cases of rape.

One woman Joanna interviewed told how she was raped by 12 men. When she eventually got the courage to go to police, they arrested eight men and told her if she wanted the remaining four arrested, she would have to find them herself.

‘Rape remains a huge issue in India’, says Joanna. ‘But the legacy of the Delhi attack is that more women are finding the courage to report their attacks.’

And hopefully one day, women will be able to walk the streets without a sense of fear…

Listen to Crossing Continents at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03k29xr


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