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SSH will not publish any comment that is offensive or hateful and does not add to a thoughtful discussion of street harassment. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, disabalism, classism, and sexism will not be tolerated. Disclaimer: SSH may use any stories submitted to the blog in future scholarly publications on street harassment.

Guilty Verdict for Delhi Gang Rape Perpetrators

In News stories | on 09.13.13 | by | Comments ( 0 )

Trigger Warning

More than nine months after the street harassment and then brutal gang rape and eventual death of a young woman in Delhi, India, a Delhi court found the four perpetrators guilty for the crime and have sentenced them to death.

While I appreciate that for once a rape/murder case received the gravity it deserved, I am against the death penalty, even for these young men. Yes, they need to face consequences for their actions, but not an end to their lives.

I also think that some of the huge amount of time and resources spent on them could have been better spent going to schools and villages and cricket games (formal and informal) to talk about respect for women and girls, etc. This is a cultural problem in India (and every other country in the world) and every day there are numerous rapes and gang rapes. More needs to be done to chance cultural norms and prevent it from happening!

SSH’s friend Dhruv Arora who runs GotStared.At in India wrote an article today about why he is not in favor of this ruling and shared similar sentiments:

“The problem with this retributive approach to justice is that the problem is completely sidelined in favour of the desire for revenge. The problem is that sexual assaults are not lust-crimes at all, but are much more deeply linked to the roots of our society and have strong ties with the culture of power and domination. Yes, these things take time to change and till then we cannot do anything, but if we lose our heads in favour of personalizing justice to fit our emotionally triggered desire for “real action”, then we are failing as a society. True, it takes time, but till then we need to work on removing our ties to violence and not engrain them into our legal definitions. The least we need to ensure is that while this slow and painful process of change takes its due course, we don’t make things worse. If we let our deep frustration, anger and the helplessness of not being able to make an immediate change in the culture of sexual crimes take control of our better judgment of being able to identify positive change; we’re going to only make matters worse.”

If you want to do something about sexual harassment and sexual violence in India, I suggest getting involved with groups like GotStared.At, Breakthrough, Safe Delhi/Jagori, and Blank Noise!

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