Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tougher laws, what about societal attitudes?

On Saturday, the young woman in India who was gang raped by six men on a public bus, died from her injuries, which included a brain injury and massive internal trauma. Since the attack on December 16, thousands of people across India have come together, demanding the government get tougher on  crimes against women as well as improved women's rights.

In India most sex crimes go unreported; which follows a similar pattern seen in countries throughout the world, including here in the United States, many offenders go unpunished, and the justice system moves slowly. So, yes improved and tougher laws on these crimes are needed, however, these laws will more after an attack has occurred, and less to prevent the crimes from actually occurred.

The young woman's death and brutal rape did not just happen because of weak laws, the attack happened because deeply entrenched attitudes held about women, that makes men believe it is okay to rape and sexually assault women.

This young woman had her whole life ahead of her but had it ripped away by hateful men, who felt they had the right to attack and rape her. The people commit these heinous crimes deserved to be strictly punished, thus the need for tougher laws on these crimes. However, until these attitudes are changed, no amount of laws will prevent these crimes from happening.

Some rays of light are provided by the people who are protesting these attitudes, the organizations who work to change these mindsets, and by the men who stand alongside women, saying that this is wrong.


  1. This was such a shocking and disturbing case, but I am encouraged by the response of so many Indians to it. I'm afraid these kinds of tragedies will continue, but am optimistic that they will be less and less common, as more and more people change their attitudes about violence towards women.

  2. This post also caught my eye as this story has received vast amounts of attention from the media, though we can hope for much more to come from it. It is amazing that the people of India rose to the occasion with the protests and posters with images of past sexual violence victims to raise awareness on the topic. It is important that Elizabeth notes that the world needs to give just as much attention to preventing these attacks as to ensuring that the offenders are punished after the fact. Around the globe it is becoming more and more clear that we need harsher punishments for crimes against women and this blog post displays just one of the many reasons.