Rape – When Is It Really Over????
Hello Athenas!!! Yes, it’s really me and I’m back!!! A special greeting to Mira, for providing us with food for thought and to Aadhya, why brought to light how inept we still are when it comes to dealing with rape.
Contrary to what some “learned” people may be given to think, for the victim, rape doesn’t end when the said act ends. It stays with them for life, haunting them day and night, whether they are awake or asleep. As Aadhya so rightly puts it, the emotional trauma of being used and abused in the most intimate manner possible leaves an indelible mark on the victim’s psyche. And then there’s society’s treatment of the victim. It pains and shames me to say that instead of being supportive and understanding, people are ready to ostracize the victim and turn her into a social pariah for no fault of hers. Rape victims are dealing with a lot of trauma and stress as it is. There’s no need to rub salt into their wounds and hurt and insult them further for something which was beyond their control. But NO!!! We have a compulsion to showcase our self-righteousness by treating them as outcasts, don’t we???
And in many cases, it’s not just the society which contributes to the victim’s emotional trauma, but her own family as well. Relatives refuse to talk to them, stop socializing with them and basically ignore them. As for marriage, it’s yet another can of worms. A rape victim is often viewed as damaged goods and bridegrooms and their families shy away from them once they get to know. It’s very rarely we come across someone who understands that rape is NOT the victim’s fault. It’s the fault of the rapist and his sick, sadistic mindset, because no one in their right mind would hurt anyone intentionally in such an intimate manner. And as Aadhya so rightly pointed out, many a times, it’s little girls and elderly grandmothers who end up getting raped.
Rape simply doesn’t end when the act itself comes to an end. It’s a traumatic experience which stays with the victim for the rest of her life. And at each turn, even if she tries to forget and get on with her life, society is very much ready to keep reminding her with their “sympathy.” Some rape victims end up getting pregnant. This results in several repercussions. Unwanted pregnancies resulting from rape are terminated if the victim has the means and the courage. Otherwise, the babies are carried to term and either abandoned or brought up as illegitimate children. In case of the latter, both mother and child are ostracized for no fault of theirs.
People need to understand rape is NOT a communicable disease. None of us will catch it by behaving decently to victims of rape. I wonder when all of us will realize this…
Freedom for us women will happen when we are safe. Rape has become a common problem and the number of cases are simply alarming. Catch more on rape with Rape – it’s my fault….., Nirbhaya- The Aftermath, How has Nirbhaya affected us- The parent? and Self protection- The need of the hour.