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Report on National Forum for Survivor of Rape and Sexual Abuse, Trafficking and Violence

Jan Sahas and Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan organized National Forum for Survivors of Rape, Sexual Abuse, Trafficking and Violence on 23rd and 24th August, 2017 at Samanvayak Bhavan, Bhopal to discuss the role of police, medical, judiciary and family to ensure justice to the survivor. By providing a platform for survivors and family members to speak about the challenges they have faced, appropriate authorities and stakeholders will be exposed to existing realities and can contribute to making responses effective and just. Increased visibility of men and boys voicing their concerns and support also strengthen this movement to end violence against women.

Objectives of the national forum: 
  • To build the capacity and confidence of survivors to fight as barefoot lawyers for enabling them to seek Justice and help to other survivors. 
  • To ensure implementation of laws and policies for justice and rehabilitation of survivors thorough community based monitoring. 
  • To create conducive social environment against social stigma and social disempowerment for survivors of sexual violence at national level.  
  • To engage and involved boys and men and other all social/state actors for prevention of sexual violence.  

Plan of Action: 

  • Forums will aim to increase its membership to <10,000 in the first year of its functioning from across Indian states.  
  • 4 workshops will be organized in the first year of its functioning to empower them to access justice from the judiciary. The workshops will be intensely focused on protective laws and welfare policies.  
  • Forum will raise voice of the survivors for policy reform including trafficking bill, 2016   
  • Workshops with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community Based organizations (CBOs) to enable them to respond and act on the cases of violence against girls and women. 

 

In 2015, the Indian National Crime Record Bureau recorded an alarming figure of violence
against women. A total of 3,27,394 crimes against women were reported in 2015, including
34,556 rapes and 2113 cases of gang rape. 28359 of the total victims of rape were girls
under 18 years of age. In addition, 4437 cases of attempt to Commit Rape, 59,277 cases of
kidnapping and abduction of girls and women have also been registered. A total of 8,800
cases were registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act during
2015.

Before cases even get as far as the police station, survivors face tremendous pressure from
their families, abusive partner to remain silent. Intimidation and isolation prevent victims
from accessing the support required to navigate the legal system. These women face
“secondary victimization”—social stigma, and dehumanizing experiences with medical,
police, and judicial processes heighten their trauma. Victims those are approaching the
police are likely to experience insensitivity, corruption, shoddy investigation and delayed
action. In addition, lack of punishment (impunity) for perpetrators of violence and law
enforcement and judicial actors are significant obstacles.

In spite of the protective laws to prevent and address violence against women, crime
against girls and women continue to persist. Below is the list of protective laws.
 These include the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860: Rape (Sec. 376), Kidnapping &
Abduction for different purposes (Sec. 363-373), Torture, both mental and physical
(Sec. 498-A), Molestation (Sec. 354) and Sexual Harassment (Sec. 509),
 The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, The Sexual Harassment
of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013,
 The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled
Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989,
 National Commission for Women Act 1990,
 The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, Medico-legal care for
survivors/victims of Sexual Violence 2014,
 National Policy for the Empowerment of the Women 2001, Action Plan to
Strengthen the Police and Administration to Combat Sexual Crimes against Women
2013,
 UJJAWALA: A Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of Trafficking and Rescue,
Rehabilitation and Re-Integration of Victims of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual
Exploitation 2007.
Protective laws and welfare schemes explicitly emphasizes the need for a systematic,
procedural intervention to prevent violence against girls and women to support to
survivors of rape and sexual abuse. In spite of such strong protective laws violence is
rampant among Indian states including Madhya Pradesh.
Jan Sahas being a survivor focused organization envisage an idea to form a platform; lead
and functioned by the survivor of rape and sexual offences. This has been organically
evolved through Garima Abhiyaan’s intervention in elimination of manual scavenging.

 

Testimonies from Madhya Pradesh, Rajashthan, Maharashtra

 

Ms. Vasudhara (Name Changed), Leader of Survivors and Activist, Madhya Pradesh
presented by Gopal Singh

A 30 year married women was raped by her neighbor on 9th May 2011. Post-midnight she ran
for her life to the police station to lodge an FIR against the accused, but police official delayed
in registering the complaint.

Vasudhara (name changed), a house wife residing in a village in Madhya Pradesh,
Scheduled caste (Chamar caste) lodged a complaint of rape on 9th May 2011 at a nearby
police station in her native district. She claimed at around 3.15 AM when she was alone in
her home, a man barged into her room from the backdoor entry of the house and raped her.
The person later was identified as her neighbor.
Vasudhara hailing from a poor family, whose husband (Hari- name changed) is a mason
worker and is the sole breadwinning member of the house, went to attend the wedding of
his nephew in Sehore District on 9th May 2011, her son and relatives also went to attend
the wedding. As she was alone in her house for her own security she locked the front door
and the backdoor was used to access her home and kept a sickle next to her pillow.
Around 3 AM while she was asleep, the accused entered her house and forced himself upon
her said “Chup chap leti reh nahi to maar dalunga” (You better not scream otherwise I will
kill you). Thus, the accused threatened her to death if she dared to scream. She did not slip
into complacent zone of tolerating it. During the assault, she reached to the sickle, kept
near her pillow and attacked with it. Accused snatched away the sickle and retaliated back,
which lead to cut on her finger and injury on her head; she ran for life and headed towards
the police station, expecting that she would be heard. The CRPC section 154 mentions that
instant proceeding of the FIR should take place despite of that the dutiful policemen did not
comply with the law and ignoring her conditions, casually asked her to wait until the Sub
Inspector arrives. She waited there till the morning, and then her report was filed.
The heinous crime that has been committed by the accused was reported by Vasudhara the
same day itself. She probably was aware that her reporting might lead to trouble in her
family but that did not stop her from reporting and also stood firm on her decision of not
compromising with them. The accused and the family had given the proposal to
compromise and also in addition threatened them to death and showed the power of an
upper caste residing in a village. The fate of a Scheduled caste confirms with the societal
hierarchy and as seen in numerous cases, same thing happened with Vasudhara, as the
scheduled caste family went against all the odds of the societal hierarchy the accused
snatched away the right of the family to earn on 21-01-2012 by beating up her husband
and fracturing his leg. Hari Husband of Vasudhara is not in a condition to go to work and
earn.
Vasudhara has filed the caste on 09-05-2011 and the accused was charged with 457,
356,323,506, IPC 376, SC/ST Act 3(2)5, 3(1)12. No action has been taken against the
accused for two years, as stated above in the span of 2 years the accused attacked
Vasudhara’s family. There has been defeat in the case as there is a general reporting from
the doctor that ‘she is “Habitual” which according to our experience here means that she is
sexually active and ready to elope with anyone’. This clearly shows the jaded judicial
judgement that exists in such cases where the victim who is eagerly waiting for justice is
defeated because it was so easy to say that she is “habitual”. While a family waits for justice,
continuous attack on the victim persists they left their residence and started living in rent
while she is still waiting for justice. Currently the case is on appeal in High Court Indore, the
only support that she has received was the support of her husband when her life is in
jeopardy.
Jyoti (name changed) survivor from Rajashthan
On 9th April 2016, Jyoti (name changed) went missing from her own house; she was abducted
by accused from her own house. An adolescent girl who has been missing for days, the family
still waits to trace her daughter, but there is no co-operation from the police to look for a 15-
year-old girl, though the odds are known.
On 09th April 2016, there was a gathering in one of the resident (belonging to Jagdish).
Jagdish family and his extended family were staying at his residence for a couple of days.
Among his extended family, the accused and his son had been staying at his place for
around 15 days.
On 09th April 2016 everybody went off to sleep on the terrace, among these relatives,
Jagdish’s own daughter Jyoti, 15, was also sleeping. The very next morning around 7 am,
they noticed that Jyoti and the accusers later identified as members of extended family
went missing from the house. The survivor’s father looked for his daughter everywhere
possible but there has been no trace of her.
A FIR has been lodged on 12th April 2016, stating a missing report of their daughter and
charges of 363, 366 under IPC have been filed against the accused. It seemed that this is a
clear case of abduction that has happened under the roof of Jagdish residence. Neither
relatives nor the villagers have any clue of Jyoti and the accused after 10th April 2016.
This abduction that has happened under their roof can lead to any kind of mishappening
with Jyoti knowing that she is a minor girl. The perils of the case are extremely high but
there is no cooperation from the police. The report has only been lodged to show it on the
papers. Denial of not taking action has been pondered over by the police men with
convenient excuses. The outreach of the case has just not been addressed to the village but
it has been addressed to other official authorities, still there has been no answer from any
of the officials. It has been days but to take a step on this process still awaits and there is no
trace of Durga, who is just a 15-year-old child. A speedy process is expected in such a case
but it is denial that is being served.

Radha (name changed) survivor from Madhya Pradesh

Radha, 16, was assaulted, raped and video shoot by the accused who later identified as the
friends of her brother. The family was so determined that they actively became part of the
trial till conviction.

The incident of rape of occurred on 15th January 2016 in a village under in Dewas district of
Madhya Pradesh. The child survivor, age 14 at the time of incidence, was alone in her home
in the evening. Two teenage boys from her neighborhood, who belong to the same caste as
her, ascended the walls of her home and entered through an open window. She was
restrained by them. One of them raped her while other video shoot on mobile camera. They
threatened her to upload on Whats App, a social media application, to kill her and left her in
her devastated condition. However, the girl chose to inform her parents and brother when
they returned home. The accused later identified as her brother’s friends.
The family immediately informed the Police about the incident; police initially refused to
registered the complaint. Her grandfather reiterated and asked police official to charge
section as per the crime committed. Police officer initially warned under the pretext of
revealing her identity but he stood firm against it and told to register it without any
hesitation. Next day media cover the news and he got to know from news that the required
charges were not charged against the accused. He went to police station again next day and
informed that if you have not registered under the required charges he would go to delhi
for it as he was an ex-army office. Police even tried to manipulate the evidence at their
end but failed. The police added the POSCO with already charged 376 section of Indian
Penal Code and gathered all necessary testimonials and medical evidences. The very next
day print media reported the detail of the case with real name of the accused with her
father’s name. This helped in the judicial procedures. After few days, the accused were
arrested and also received bail as they were ‘first time offenders’ and minor (below 18
years of age). Their trial first occurred at the Juvenile Justice Board in Dewas but later,
citing the amended law, it was referred to the Session Court.
It was informed by the Juvenile Justice Board that the boys have been found to be mentally
mature as well as above the age of 16 years at the time of committing the crime. The crime
also qualifies to be ‘heinous’ (punishment of imprisonment of seven years or more) under
section 33 of the amended Juvenile Justice Act. After hearing the testimonials and
examining evidence the boys were found guilty by Justice Surbhi Mishra and declared 10
years of punishment each. They were handed over to the Police to be taken to ‘Care homes’.
After 5 years, they will be transferred to “adult correctional facilities”.
Jan Sahas team provided legal support to the survivor’s family to testify in court. Mother
who was witness in the case was initially reluctant to testify in court as she was shattered
by the incident. She re-collect herself and testify in the court which led to conviction in
their hand.

Urmila (name changed) survivor from Maharashtra
Urmila (name changed) was enticed to visit the Rajashtan and sold to man who forcefully
married her and exploited her.

Urmila, daughter of Shayam lal, married to Dinesh Pawar. They were living their life
happily. She has two babies. Their life was going normal but eventually her husband
started his tantrum. He started coming home drinking alcohol and trashing her wife. She
was tired and approached the caste Panchayat for the resolution. Through the caste
panchayat, they got the divorce and one child was given in her husband and one in her
custody.
She shifted back to her maternal home where she met Mangala. Mangala proposed her to
come along with her to Rajashthan. Kiran denied as she was not having money with her.
Mangal told that she will take care of the expenses. Under the enticement of visiting
Rajashthan, Mangala, Gorakha Mahajan, Mohan Singh and Dinesh Mali took her to Jaslmer,
Rajashtan and sold her to Hira Mali. Kiran resisted but the accused threaten to kill her. He
also broke her mobile. The accused took her to the temple and forcefully married her. He
started abusing her physically and sexually.
She suffered enough and decided to run away from the accused and she successfully
eloped. On 24th April 2017, she went to file an FIR against the accused at Songir Police
station in Maharashtra. Under IPC sections 363, 366, 37, 344, 323, 34 and 3(1)2 section of
SC/ST prevention of atrocity act was charged against the accused. The accused file cross
FIR in Jaslmer, Rajashthan and charged section 420, 406, 495 and 496 of IPC.
After two days, Lady Constable from Jaslmer police station came and took her to the
Rajashthan. Her father didn’t have money to even visit to her there.
Jan Sahas came to know about the case and collected the detail information about the case.
It was come to know that Police presented her before the court and she was transferred to
Jodhpur jail.
On 14th June 2017, Jan Sahs team visited the Jodhpur jail. Team prepared all the documents
for the bail and submitted to concern authority and submitted on 15th June 2017. It was
also come out during the visit that she was pregnant. On 21st June 2017, court granted her
bail. Jan Sahas has been following the case.

 

Download full report here Report on National Forum for Survivor of Rape and Sexual Abuse, Trafficking and Violence

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Comment (1)

  1. K SHESHU BABU

    The report clearly brings out the sufferings and atrocities faced by the deprived women. The survivors of rape, abuse, trafficking,etc should be given moral, legal and financial assistence

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