Awake Social Conscience To Stop Rape. By Father Anand Muttungal

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It is said that the recorded history of incident of rape goes back to 508 BC where the Sextus the son of Roman King raped a noblewoman Lucretia , following which she is said to have committed suicide. From then on there have been numberless sexual crimes reported across the world. Rape has been defined as ‘a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent.’ Increasing incidents of rape in India can be understood from the report of National Crime Records Bureau that at every 22 minutes one rape takes place in India. This report is from the records of reported cases with the police. As a section of people demand, if capital punishment is introduced in law then what a disaster could it turn to be?
It might sound very odd but true that the incidents of rape evoked very little response from people till the incident of gang-rape of medical student in Delhi and the spontaneous out cry of people across the Nation. This incident brought a whole nation together demanding justice for the victims of rape cases. I believe that to control these crimes we need to awaken the conscience of people against this. There could be a common forum where men and women become active campaigners against rape and offering assistance to victims. Parents will have to take active interest in educating their boy children the importance of respecting girl companions. It has to become an integral part of school curriculum to teach how healthy relationship between girls and boys could grow, may be a family education programme. There could be some encouraging programmes to promote healthy relationship between men and women. There must be some schemes of monetary benefits to encourage men taking up issues related to women and their equality in the society.
Along with promoting good relations among women and men we also need strict laws to deal with incidents of sexual violence and violations of women’s rights. We always ask for laws to punish the guilty but what about the persons who tries to protect the culprits. As observed by Justice Arjit Pasayat: “While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female.” So those people who knowingly support the offenders too need to be brought under the law. It is also a must that as per the Supreme Court direction there should be women’s redressal cell in every organization to deal with issues related to them. If any organization found violating such laws should be brought before the law. All our efforts should be aimed at making this world a better place for men and women to live respectfully.
It is impossible to prescribe one code of sexual morality for all times and cultures. All the world religions have tried to address the moral issues that arise from people's sexuality in society and in human interactions. ‘Every religion has developed its own moral codes governing issues of sexuality, morality, ethics etc. These regulations are moral codes that seek to regulate the situations which give rise to sexual interest and to influence people's sexual activities and practices.’ It is a fact that since it also deals with the issue of life after death, people adhere to these precepts. As the law plays important role in controlling crime against women so as the preachers of these religions too must play an important role in awakening the social conscience against rape. They need to work towards raising the image of women in the society. And above all each individual has to work towards awakening a sense of equality of men and women, equal opportunity and equal role in families and societies.

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