Sexual Violence: A Global Pandemic
Written by Nikunj Morarka
Policy and Legal Team
Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experience sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitisation regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at news from the 23rd-29th September, 2017.
UGC harassment data
UGC (University Grants Commission) data collected between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017 shows that 103 women students were allegedly victimised on campus with Uttar Pradesh universities having the highest number of cases at 24. This data further shows how women are afraid to report cases because of a lack of trust in a system that is opaque and corrupt since it is impossible to believe a number as ridiculously low as 103.
Orphans sexually harassed
Six girls living in a government run orphanage for girls in Himachal Pradesh alleged that members of the staff of the home would drug them during dinner and later sexually exploit them. They said they would feel drowsy after dinner and when they woke up they felt like something bad had happened to them. These allegations came to light a day after three employees of the Balika Ashram in Chilli village of Chamba district were arrested for the sexual harassment.
Charges framed against Tarun Tejpal
The founder of Tehelka magazine, Tarun Tejpal was formally charged on Thursday with rape, sexual harassment and with outraging the modesty of a woman by a Goa court. He has been accused of raping his colleague in 2013 at a festival organised by him in Goa. It’s sad to see that even with an adversarial government in power it has taken about 4 years just for the charges to be framed.
Rehabilitating Bill O’Reilly
Bill O’Reilly, the former top Fox News host who was forced to leave Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations returned to the channel as a guest on conservative host Sean Hannity’s programme to promote his new book. It is sad to see a person who was accused by so many women of sexual harassment being rehabilitated on national news and furthermore his book is now number one on Amazon showing that partisan news consumers will stick with their heroes no matter what they do.
The police have cracked down on protesters at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), the protests started after some women were apparently molested by outsiders. Subramanian Swamy, a BJP appointed ‘independent’ Rajya Sabha member called the protesters naxalites and backed the vice chancellor who the protesters are demanding be sacked.
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