We have all been affected by the incident that took place in Delhi.
The news of rape is never easy to handle, whether we know the victim or not, especially for us women because it forces us to acknowledge that we could just as easily have been victims ourselves.
The gang rape of a girl in a moving bus seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It has forced the youth of Delhi, indeed all of India, to step up to the plate. They have made it known that some serious action needs to be taken by the government both to punish the accused in this case and to make changes that will keep women safe in the future.
The hundreds of college students who have gathered to protest outside the Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate have done their utmost to ensure that those in the position to make changes know that the time is now. Action needs to be taken now!!
Many groups and many factions have expressed their opinions about both the need to increase the severity of punishment for rapists and the need to take measures to make women safer and prevent the occurrence of rape altogether.
The question before us now is how do we find a solution?? I just heard that even the threat of the death penalty has not served as a deterrent in many countries, so why should it work in India where the police are insensitive at the very least and themselves the perpetrators of such crimes on more occasions than any of us would like to admit.
This begs the question, where do we go and who do we expect to protect us if those charged with that very duty are often no better that the rapists that we wish to protect ourselves from??
Many have said that the solution to the problem of rape and violence against women can only be solved though a societal overhaul. A re-education of society and it’s re-organization as non-patriarchal is quite possibly the only true solution to our problem but the fact remains that, in spite of our best efforts this kind of change will not happen overnight, it might not even happen over the next century.
After the reactions that I have witnessed over the last few days I am sure that our generation will make every effort to bring about this change in society but what will keep us safe until that time. The fabric of society cannot be rewoven in a few days or months or even years. It will happen of that I am sure BUT until then what do we do??
What possible solution can we put forward that will act as a deterrent?? That will make women and girls feel safer??
Should pepper spray be mandatory for the fairer sex, along with rape whistles and compulsory self-defense classes in schools and colleges?? Regular talks and reminders of the things that women can do to keep themselves safer?? There is a solution out there we simply have yet to stumble upon it.
It is my sincerest hope that now that the youth has come forward and has entered into dialogue with the powers that be, a solution can be found. Even a small change can possibly bring down the number of women who are subjected to such violence everyday significantly. Change that saves even one woman is change worth implementing. It will be a long and difficult journey as we will have to change as much about ourselves as we want to change about others but the first step has been taken and now all we can do is continue.
So do you have any ideas?? Please do share!