India's "Treasure"Some media members have named her "Amanat", meaning treasure. Some protestors have named her "Damini", the Hindu word meaning lightning which was also adopted by a 1993 Bollywood film which fights for the character of a housemaid that was a victim of rape. Whatever you call this 23 year old female, who died on Saturday early morning in a Singapore hospital, her nomenclature will be a symbol of light to illuminate the dark injustice of rape worldwide.
India's "treasure" was riding on the public transport of New Delhi with her male companion, when she was brutally beaten and raped by six men and then thrown from the bus to die along the roadside. I wonder how many times these men had raped before? I wonder what caused them to believe that it was within their rights to treat a young woman with such primal ruthlessness? Could it be that female infanticide continues to be so prevalent in India that the UN named India the most dangerous place to be as a girl? Or maybe it is due to the barbaric bride burning practice in the case of dowry deaths? Despite the 1961 law forbidding dowries, the cultural practice remains and the statistics continue to rise with an estimated bride burned every 90 minutes. Even if demands of payment by the groom's family are met initially, the demands may continue after marriage and the young bride's children will be abused as a form of torture and coercion to the mother. The laws were changed in 1986 to include any bride burned within 7 years of marriage as a murder because so many young women were "catching on fire in the kitchen".
According to statistics, there is a rape is reported every 18 hours in New Delhi, and as is well known, many more rapes go unreported. New Delhi leads the nation of India for reported rapes and the number of reported rapes has increased 17% from 2007 to 2011 according to Government data. India's Seema Sirohi, who represents the Indian Council on Global Relations says that despite the laws existing, the police do not enforce the laws and states it is very difficult to be a woman in India.
On the heels of the death of India's "treasure", a 17 year old girl, who reported being raped by two men and a female accomplice, committed suicide when her "demand(s) for justice" appeared futile to her. She was brutalized on November 13 during the Hindu festival of Diwali. Ironically Diwali, the festival of lights, depicts the victory of light over darkness, good over evil. When seeking justice through the local police she was harassed and humiliated. She poured out her injustices on the bleak lines of her tear stained suicide note before she ingested poison, taking her life.
An American Woman is Sexually Assaulted Every 2 Minutes.
Do the injustices of women stop at the borders of India, sadly no my friend. The injustices of women are even on the most liberal feminine shores of America. Here in our progressive society that taunts female liberties to the rest of the world a sexual assault occurs approximately every two minutes. Again, keep in mind about 54% of sexual assaults go unreported.
The Bondage of Silence
The bondage of silence is a paralytic parasite. When a woman can finally break the bonds in her own mind to speak the unspeakable, it is often met with an admonition of "not to tell". This comes from well meaning family members, friends, school officials, workplace bosses and even law officials.
2 Sam 13 tells of the story of Tamar, the daughter of King David, attending to her brother Amnon while he faked an illness with the intentions of raping his sister. Afterwards she was so ashamed, and so distraught that she ran out, ripped her robe and placed ashes on her head crying bitterly. Her brother Absalom came to her and perceiving what had happened told her to hold her peace, this was her brother after all. What was the end result of holding her peace, she remained desolate, or in our words depression overtook her.
"And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house." 2 Sam 13:20
What is one to do?
Well Judges 19 tells of a brutal attack on a Levite's concubine that was raped and abused all night. She crawled back to the door of the house that they had spent the night in and grabbed the threshold of the door until she died. In the morning, the Levite spoke to her to get up, and when he realized she was no longer speaking because her soul had succumbed to the vicious and vile atrocity. He picked up her body, took it home, cut it into 12 pieces and sent a piece to each leader of the tribes of Israel and said...."consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds".
This woman, along with India's treasure have died. One thing that these woman had in common was the number 13. One assault occurred on Nov 13, India's "Treasure" lived for 13 days after the assault, and Tamar's assault occured in Chap 13 of 2 Sam. This coming year is 2013, is there a connection? Regardless of the numerical coincidence, their blood echoes from the ground. Their tears have salted the silent souls of others that have suffered a sexual assault. The violence against virginity reverberates across the nations to protect our daughters.