May 8, 2016: The date is no mistake. In fact, I normally don’t post the date when I’m developing a new article. This time, the date on which I began to write this article is important: Mother’s Day 2016.
It’s now a week later. It’s been another green rainy day, and I’m finally preparing to put this article to bed; that is, to post it to Feature Articles on my site. I suspect it will be three parts long. There was no way around it.
I started following this story about five days ago, when the news first caught my eye. I couldn’t let it pass. The headlines took me back about 3 years 2 weeks and 3 days to December 16, 2012–or maybe I learned on the 17th. The news was gruesome, macabre, a gang rape in Delhi that would eventually become a particularly brutal murder by the time the 23-year-old physiotherapy student then known as Nirbhaya succumbed to her injuries in the wee hours of December 29 in Singapore.
Outrage about Jisha’s attack grew far more slowly than the protests did in Nirbhaya’s case. But protests have also been rising in Jisha’s case now too.
Yet although Jisha apparently had been harassed for about a year prior to her rape and brutal murder, police failed to follow up on her mother’s effort to report the incidents since they didn’t believe the mother. (You’ll see commentary in some of the articles related to the mother’s mental instability as the reason police gave for the lack of follow up.)
In the days, weeks and months after that case–and now years later–I have continued to plead for people to demand that the *conviction* rates in India need to be raised. But please don’t misunderstand. While the Nirbhaya tragedy even with her name now commonly known–and now this one–both took place in India, the world statistics are simply stunning. In fact according to RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds! NYC Against Rape lists their findings , a few of which caught my eye so strongly I’ll share them here:
One woman in four will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime.
683,000 adult American women are forcibly raped each year. This equals 56,916 per month; 1,871 per day; 78 per hour; and 1.3 per minute.
Only 16% of rapes are ever reported to the police.
There is no such thing as a type of person that is more likely to get raped. Women and men of all ages, religions, class, cultures, beliefs or geographic locations can become a victim.