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'The Solution- It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.’

On September 29, a class XI student was gangraped by four youths in a busy market area at Gohana in Sonipat, State of Haryana on Thursday.

On September 9, a dalit girl was gang-raped by eight youths near Dabra village in Hisar district, state of Haryana and four others had filmed the act. Three accused in the case are still at large.

In Jind district, a 30-year-old woman was gang-raped by three youths at her house at Pillu Khera, state of Haryana on September 21. The main accused in the case is still absconding.

In 20 days there were three gang rapes reported in state of Haryana. I mentioned reported as most of them would not be so bold to report for Rape out of shame and fear. These Rapists have all the guts in this world to threaten the girl and her family to not to report to the police.

With growing number of cases of rape, sexual harassment, eve-teasing in the state of Haryana, India and the State ministers have come up with solutions which I wanted to share:

1) Solution offered: Minimum age of marriage should be lowered down to 16 from 18 and Girls should get married as soon as possible.

Remedy: For what? So that they get raped legally? Even before they become a woman?

Effects of the solution: When girls will get married at the age of 16 then they are not anymore responsibilities of their parents. It's the husband's responsibility now to keep an eye on her in order to keep her safe. So her life will now be inside the four walls of the house from very early age of sixteen. So, this way when a girl is born her parents will wait for her to be sixteen so that they can get her married and be relieved from stress and tension because of that girl in their hearts and minds. Thus, after the wedding the stress is transferred from girl's parents to her husband. Now, he will have his own set of rules to tackle this stress. But, whatever he thinks or the parents ultimately that poor girl has to suffer without even a bit of her fault for her whole life.
Another important point to be highlighted here is that this statement is by a minister who plays a major role in our government as a former chief minister. Child marriage is illegal in India and still he made this statement. If the ministers themselves will give such statements then obviously the citizens will
Be encouraged to break all the laws and continue this ever.

2) Solution Offered: Haryana government has offered 33% reservation to women on the road. The remaining 67% are on their own.

Remedy: If agreed upon the above statement at least 33% will be safe but what about the remaining 67%. On top of that how are they going to decide who belong to that 33%??

Effects of the solution: This statement will create a vibe of terror across haryana as now government itself has declared that only 33% women are safe. A vibrant example of this which happened few days back is when a girl got gang raped just 100 meters from her house. She went out to the grocery shop to buy some stuff when the shopkeeper asked her to get it from the storage behind where three men were already waiting for her and even he joined them. What was her fault? Nothing. She was not wearing jeans (as our honorable minister claims that women should not wear jeans to stop attracting attention from men). Yet She was not safe even 100 meters from her house. Did something happen to those rapists? NO -Nothing. A police case has been registered which will go on for years now and there is no justice. Even if she gets justice what is the use of that as her life won’t get back to normal ever again. The solution is not to give her justice, the solution is to see a day when no girl should be unsafe and no men can dare to do such a big crime. The question that's in my mind is which percentage she falls in 67 or 33? If such case happened so close to her house then forget about going far off places.

3) Solution Offered: Staying at home after dark, not wearing jeans, getting sold legally on the market along with cattle and getting married at 14-16.

Remedy: When the women won’t go out of their house nobody can attack them but if they wear salwar suits or completely covered clothes from head to toe how will that solve the problem is my question?

Effects of the solution: Let's not go too far for this effect as I am one of those. I am from haryana, brought up in a family which is not really that orthodox but yes a little for sure. So from childhood I was a girl who wore anything, played cricket and all the boys’ games with them as I had no girl to play with. Now the day came when I had to go to college. Me and my mom shopped a lot for that. We bought some skirts and lots of funky tops. My first day in college - I was wearing a normal jeans and a top which was covering up to my belt. My college was on a bit of outskirts of my city and there we had people from typical state of Haryana and lots of other places too. I was sitting in the cafeteria with my friends when a girl came who was my senior and took me out in a corner. She was completely furious at me and started shouting at me saying that you have no sense of wearing clothes to college. I was like what happened, and then she went on and said that she was sitting there with her friends, mostly men, in the cafeteria and all of them were looking at me and from tomorrow I should come in a salwar suit. I was completely shocked that how can a girl come and tell me this? Still I ignored and went back. Another day, another senior this time a boy came and told me you are a very nice girl, I respect you a lot, I know you are very sweet and honest but in this college girls who wear jeans don’t have a good image and I am telling you all this because I care for you and you don’t have that good of an image because of this. My answer to him was "Image is what you or these people think of me but character is what really I am. I am living with my family and be with my friends and they are more than happy with who I am and what I wear. For me they are most important and I am bothered about so I am least bothered about my IMAGE".

Vision: To see a day, a generation of women who is completely unaware of the word ‘Rape’. The punishment of such a crime should be so horrifying that no men on this planet will even dare to think about it forget about committing it.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Comments

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Dear Upsi- Thank you for

Dear Upsi-

Thank you for writing this journal entry, so that we all may better understand the situation and need for action. How frustrating to see issues, but have no acceptable solutions! I'm wondering, when the government has solutions like these, do they actually become law, or are they murmurings? I need to do research in order to be informed about your government, authority, and changes to laws. However, I do know that even though laws may change, true change can only come from an individual's heart, which is the most difficult kind of change.

Until then, I hope people read these kinds of posts so that we can all be informed. Please let us know what actions we can take, if any. Until then, you are a shining example of being yourself and standing up for those who suffer from such horrific crimes!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Kara-Amena's picture

Haryana's nightmare

Dear Upasana,

Your story is so alarming - so many gang rapes in such a short time! Is this problem unique to Haryana? In all three cases you mentioned that the perpetrators are youth. Is this a new trend? I know these things happen all over the world and the circumstances are often different. But it seems like something has recently shifted in Haryana - three such horrific crimes in 20 days!!! Perhaps I am wrong. It's a very small state. Women and girls have to be living in fear. It's so unsettling - to be attacked without provocation.

I am glad the victims reported the crimes and hope that somehow justice will be served. Silence only makes it worse. At a minimum, I hope that the women can get the emotional support they require to heal from these assaults. I have learned a lot about trauma and how important it is to receive proper care after a traumatic event to mitigate the long-term effects. These women MUST understand that it is not their fault. I hope women and girls in Haryana will start to use a buddy system and avoid walking in the streets alone. I pray for their safety. And I pray that the authorities will take proper steps to protect the women of Haryana. Their proposed solutions are ludicrous!

Thanks for being a voice for these women and all the women in Haryana. May they all stand united against the perpetrators and against the system that wants to further oppress them.

~Kara-Amena

ekennedy.18's picture

Thank you for discussing this

Dear Upasana,

Thank you for discussing this topic. True injustice is falling upon women in Haryana. The solutions you've shared offers no way for women to be autonomous and equally respected members of Indian society. This is such a frustrating situation that requires people to completely shift their own frame of mind towards women. My question is this: how are women reacting to this violence? Are women taking part in public conversations about these travesties, or is the dialogue dominated by men?

Thank you so much for sharing. You have all my support. You, and your voice, is powerful.

Best,
Elizabeth

Wendyiscalm's picture

What is the next best step?

Thanks for the article which simultaneously informed me and made me sick. WHAT can I begin to do, WHAT can anyone begin to do, what little step or steps that lead forward. It is such a huge problem that the problem itself is too big to handle in one swallow. But WHAT little step can I take.

I know Amnesty International has us write thousands, if not millions, of letter to dignitaries and it makes a difference.

If I hear a problems, I like to be part of the solution, but I have no clue what to do.

You are courageous. Thank you.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together)

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

HI Upa,
Thanks very much for your articles.
i am attracted because of the subject matter, because I am a national youth leader in my country, I am the girls leader and because I chosed to be a woman empowerment activist at the international level. I put in so much to educate the youths of my country. Its very demanding and challenging but its worth the pains.
I also like the way you present your facts in very clear and good English - easy to read and assimilate.

Its heart breaking for me to hear that this cruel behaviour is coming from the youths who are the future leaders of the country. I believe that this case of rape is just a symptom that there may be something very wrong with the system. I want to further believe that the cultural values or the belief systems of the community might have influenced these actors. All the reported are by gangs! These rapists should have sisters, daugthers, wives and mothers who might have been victimised too. For them to feel free and carry out acts like this means that before now the community might had condoned such act and now the fight against gender violence only serves like a torch light being pointed in the dark.

I think the solution here has four phases;
The vulnerable group
Yourself
the youths
the communities
the government

THE VULNERABLE GROUP while waiting for a permanent solution, should seek individual temporal solutions. For example, I think its better for a girl to stay indoors after dusk than go out for what ever reason and be raped. If she must go out, then she should not go unaccompanied. This is because she is the one raped not the government and i am sure government officials live in secured residential areas where their daughthers cannot be easily attained.

Again, even if the rapists are caught, sent to prison or burnt to death, it does not erase the rape nor its consequences like pain, stigma and trauma. Can imagine when a well cultured, decent and beautiful girl is raped by one haggered, nonentity. Supposing the rape results in a pregnancy? An abomination! This is the more reason the individuals should consider it their responsibility of taking care of themselves.

YOURSELF, you have other roles to play beside the one of writing these articles. I want to applaud your efforts in writing because through this, we are aware of the problem and we are now brainstorming for possible solutions.

I encourage you therefore, to form an association with all the girls of your community, schedule periodical meetings with them. Educate them to be cautious and alert. Propose appropriate dressings that can also bring tough times to the rapists. Suggest defensive attitudes to be put up when there is impending danger.

If possible you can form a support group with mature and decent women with dignity who can be counselors to the victims but who can keep their mouth shut after counselling. This group maybe made up of social workers, church women, medical personel, women activists. In this way, they can counsel victims and bring meanings to their lives again and assure the former that, life continues. In this way you will be able to know many more rape cases than what you know now.

Also get into partnership with some medical centres or hospitals which could be of help. You can now put the support group in touch with the hospital or you liase between the two. When rape cases are reported then there should be immediate medical response in order to alleviate pain, check HIV and maybe prescribe some prophylaxis
and also prevent any pregnancy emanating from rape.

THE YOUTHS needs to be advised on the danger of their actions. They need to be encouraged to practice good behaviours as they are the future of the country. They should know that they may one day be taken unawares by government decisions concerning rape. They should be informed that if in the past rape was considered a virtue, they should now know that it is a vice condemned and frowned at by the whole universe. Remind them that their future wives, daugthers, sisters, mothers or loved ones can be victimised and they wont enjoy it. They should know that they run the risk of contacting veneral diseases and sexually transmitted diseases. According to their response, they can now form a watchdog group to see that such acts are not tolerated in their communities. If you succeed in buying them over, I guess they will help in the present situation and become good parents in future, thus making the community rape free by the kind of education they will give their children.

THE WHOLE COMMUNITY should get involved because its either someone is infected or affected by the current scenario. Its either you are a parent, a relative or a potential groom to the victimised. You can meet community leaders at individual levels. Those who buy your ideas, bring them together and you draw your a plan of action. You can now through this group write letters to the government.Parents should be encouraged to handle their children responsibly.

THE GOVERNMENT being aware of the situation should be brainstorming for possible long lasting solution. I do not think they are indifferent but they have a lot of things to handle and they handle them one after the other. The Government too is made up of individuals who need ideas. The community should write letters or make suggestions to the government.

Let me not be too long

I thank all who have sent their comments
I thank the writier and I am certain, the solution to the problem is somewhere in the horizon.

May you remain focused and blessed

NITA

Wendyiscalm's picture

You are right

Hi,

I understand what you are saying. I am a believer in human rights which includes women. After many years of study and being a psychotherapist I know however, that the solution begins with understanding the "enemy". Even Nelson Mandela stated this. In prison for 27 years, he made it his priority to get to know his enemy and understand them because it is only in doing so that we can overcome them. The problem I see is that women are trying to do it from the external only. I went to Livingstone Zambia to work with street orphans and make them all brilliant and give them a great chance. After 3 days, I realized the reason no missionaries or volunteers have sustainable progress is because they have not taken the time to understand Zambians, their cultural myths, traditions, desires and needs, to get behind their eyeballs.So, I stepped back and did a 4 year study which is on my website. It redefined my NGO.

Women need to proceed as you have suggested but until the time is also taken to understand what is behind the anger and violence women will be spending a life of what I call ":band aid" therapy and that is what we will pass on to our daughters no matter what comes out of our mouth.

For example, how many know that anger is a secondary emotion. That underneath it is fear or hurt. So, in therapy I always had to work on the fear and hurt to permanently get rid of the anger. Never had to mention anger once. But it went away.

How many know that anger is always saying "Why won't you be more like me?"

How many know that if you want to take something of value away from a person it has to be replaced with something of equal or greater value than what you are taking away or they go back to their own behavior. This can't be done until you figure out what it is within a man that makes him so controlling, angry, violent. I do not believe women understand men. And I do not believe much sustainable progress will be made until they do. Some men are low life's pure and simple. But not all are. Much anger is the result of learned helplessness. Some is due to a brain issue. If things are going along well and suddenly out of nowhere a person gets angry it is a drop in serotonin. I have seen great change immediatelyl with medication. There are many factors involved. I really know nothing about the population of which you speak. I do know what you are suggesting such as staying in after dark is good. But it is a temporary measure. It will take a lot of finnessing for a man to think it is HIS idea that he changes a behavior and a skilled person who can make this happen.

This is a complex issue that I know little about but I do know it is multilayered with external changes on the parts of women as well as internal changes in women and in men for it to last. It is not a problem. It is an issue. There is a difference.

The culture in America changed a lot in the 50's towards femininity. The '60's changed much for me because men saw for the first time through the youth revolution that they had a right to be happy, stop wearing suits, take time for themselves, etc. While there will always be issues of domestic violence, it is different here now because of what women went through in the '50's as you are doing now. The courage of women in these situations and those who are trying to make change is credible. Keep it up.

Ubuntu,

Wendy

Wendy Stebbins
Founder/CEO
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

wanja's picture

Crying shame

Hi,

I feel your pain, anger and frustration seeing how badly women and girls are treated in Haryana. It is ridiculous for a leader to suggest that the marriage age be lowered so that more men can find girls to molest legally!!! I say shout at the top of your voices until this rape stops. When the voices of women against rape become too loud, they become impossible to ignore.
Thank you for your courage.

Regards

Wanja

EWG

UpasanaC's picture

Thanks Cali

Thanks Cali, We need to think it over and find a solution for this at any cost. I will keep you posted on the same..

Cheers to Life

UpasanaC's picture

Thanks Kara

You are absolutely right , women there is so unsafe and they cannot go out of house after dark for sure and even before dark you have to think before stepping out.

Cheers to Life

UpasanaC's picture

Hey Elizabeth

A very good question but the answer is very disappointing as women are not reacting much about it, they are silent about it as they are all scared. Whoever will raise her voice against it will not be safe as even government itself is not with them. Some day some minister will come and tell them that all this happened as they themselves invited it. So , they are kind of very helpless.

Cheers to Life

UpasanaC's picture

Thanks a lot Nita

Thanks a lot for your valuable time and comments. You are so right that the solution has to be many folds. All the five groups if work together then there wont be any such issues ever but the major obstacle is that how can these 5 work together as the government itself is not cooperating with the vulnerable people .. Weel, but still we just cant give up and will keep up the spirits and work towards it

Cheers to Life

Hey , that was an amazing point of view to look towards the issues in life whatever it is... I am really glad about that perspective that solution lies in the roots of the problem. I would like to throw some light on that as in why the men over ther would fall into such things . A very major reason is ignorance and dis respect for women , thinking that they are physically and emotionally weak and cant do much about it. The whole point is having fun at cost of women. I dont think its always because of some sort of anger that such crimes happen. Mostly its just for fun. If anybody is angry they will try to take revenge by throwing acids on the girls face or kill her but not rape her. Will surely think over the root cause for this and will share it with you all for sure .. Thanks again

Cheers to Life

UpasanaC's picture

Thanks

Thanks for your concern Wanja ...

Cheers to Life

Lehner's picture

Dear Upasana, I had no idea

Dear Upasana,

I had no idea how wide spread the violence against women in India is. I appreciate your sharing the disturbing and graphic details of the way-to-common occurrence of rape in your community and the shocking response of the government minister.

This is a story that needs to be shared with as broad an audience as possible. People from the other side of the globe respond to the dramatic stories of individuals verses statistics.

You are brave but please stay safe yourself and don't don't tempt the vindictive reactions of your university peers as you stand up for your rights as a woman.

Keep writing ans sharing your story in as many venues as possible.

All the best,

Monica

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