• Petitioned Australian Government

This petition was delivered to:

Australian Government

Send a message to India that their treatment of women must change

    1. Annalise Hartwig
    2. Petition by

      Annalise Hartwig

      Brisbane, Australia

After the horrific attack on the 23 year old woman on a bus in India the extent of rape culture in India has come to light. Many stories of fear, pain, submission, and shame have come from this and protests across India has been met with contempt and violence. Australia needs to send a message that neither its government nor its people will stand by while women are subjected to such behaviour unchecked. "Being too big of a job" is not a reason to allow young girls, wives and elderly women to be treated as second class citizens or as objects for the gratification for half of the population. We are asking the Australian Government to take a stand and send a message that this is not tolerable behavior. The culture must change.

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • about 1 year ago

      Not only India has an rape culture! Americans are reading with horror as sexual assault after sexual assault unfolds in India. It’s easy to wonder, “What’s wrong with that country?” But we should be asking what’s wrong with the United States, too.

      Rape and violence against women are a massive problem in India. According to the country's National Crime Record Bureau, crimes against women have increased by 7.1 percent since 2010. The number of rapes reported has also risen. Nearly one in three rape victims in India is under the age of 18. One in 10 are under 14. Every 20 minutes in India, a woman is raped.

      And yet India only ranks third for the number of rapes reported each year. What country ranks first? The United States. In India, a country of over 1.2 billion people, 24,206 rapes were reported in 2011. The same year in the United States, a nation of 300 million, 83,425 rapes were reported. In the United States, every 6.2 minutes a woman is raped.

      Even if sexual assault in India is dramatically underreported, which most likely it is, the statistical difference is still striking—as is our uniquely American inclination to dismiss such monstrous human rights violations as problems that other countries face.

      A seven-year-old-girl was raped on a train traveling through the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, and discarded near a market in Bilaspur City. The rape is believed to have taken place sometime between Friday night, August 9 and Saturday morning, August 10. The perpetrator had forced his way in while the child went to use the toilet, and thrust an Indian 10-rupee note in her hand when he was done.

      As appalling as this incident is, it is unfortunately a mere example of the likes of rape cases that Indian women of the lower-middle socioeconomic strata increasingly live with. India's rising rape rate (one every 22 minutes, according to the National Crime Records Bureau) is a proof of what is wrong within certain sects of that society.

      Although India continues to make economic strides, there remains a stark contradiction at home between certain cities' glitzy image and other areas where poverty has continuously been allowed to brew. The widespread poverty in these areas has enabled the creation of accompanying pathologies, rape being one such offshoot. Crime, lawlessness, and rape are all effects of this socioeconomic imbalance. Thus, as the masses remain locked in poverty, patriarchal power relations that lie at the core of rape have found fertile breeding ground. Subsequently, society seems to be on the path to closing off all maneuvering space for Indian women, to the extent of taking away the right to their own bodies.

      Needless to say, rape has its tentacles spread far and wide across the developed, developing, and under-developed world. However, the fact that India has been increasingly making headlines due to rape violence is indicative of a menace that has been allowed to fester for far too long.

      The issue is not so much about the moral wrongness of rape per se, which cannot possibly be denied. It rather is that this long string of rapes in India indicates a society in which people can carry out heinous crimes without any fear of accountability whatsoever. It is one thing when victims of rape decide to remain silent, for whatever reason, about the injustices wreaked upon them, in effect obstructing the realization of justice. However, it is an entirely pathetic scenario when women are out on the streets, their sexual harassment narratives laid bare for all to see, and yet are crudely shrugged off as if their problems are not real enough.

      State-level action has not been forthcoming despite the urgency of the issue. The issue gained major international and local media attention in December last year, when a 23-year-old woman was raped and fatally beaten by a group of men while traveling home on a public bus in Delhi. Thereafter, a string of rape incidents have surfaced ceaselessly. Yet, a country that enjoys a fairly respectable and hard-earned international reputation has not sufficiently heeded this issue for far too long. It now stands at a point in time where evasion of the nuisance is not an option anymore.

      Teenage Indian girls, thoroughly disillusioned with the concerned authorities, have now formed a "Red Brigade" in their autonomous efforts to ward off sex offenders.

      Women, by virtue of their gender, have been and will remain a vulnerable lot in India. Only in a utopian world can rape ever be completely eradicated from a society. That said, it is imperative for India to make concerted efforts to set its internal machinations in order before these home-grown issues bring its hard-earned international acclaim plunging down.

      Not only is violence against women a global pandemic but the United States may be leading the pack.

      Oh, but you think, women who've been sexually assaulted in America are better treated. Rape victims in India, especially in rural villages, are often subject to shaming and considered unfit for marriage. But meanwhile, in Steubenville, Ohio, two young men who were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl too intoxicated to consent continue to be defended as upstanding football players while the reputation of the young woman is smeared. When the verdict was announced, a CNN reporter came close to portraying the rapists as passive victims: “These two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believed their lives fell apart.” Other media coverage seemed equally sympathetic to the perpetrators.

      Meanwhile, the victim was blamed. Early on, one of the 19 coaches of the Steubenville High football team said the victim was just making up the rape. The victim and her family had to get police protection due to the level of threats against them. Two weeks ago, a prominent local activitist in Steubenville spoke about the “alleged victim” (even though the allegations had turned into a conviction) and suggested, according to a reporter, that the victim “might have been a willing participant”. Meanwhile, the woman who broke the story of the rape—she is a local blogger—has been harassed and threatened.

      Isolated incident of smearing and shaming the victim? Afraid not. Just weeks after the Steubenville story broke, two high school football players in Torrington, Connecticut were accused of raping a 13-year-old girl. The response? Dozens of people from the town took to social media to berate and blame the 13-year-old accuser.

      Not only India has an rape culture, worldwide all countries have the same problems and worldwide must be created hard laws against this!

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    • Ria Verma LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 year ago

      Hi I am creating a similar petition for all non resident Indians, why don't we get together and create something big? What do you think?

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    • Ria Verma LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 year ago

      Hello I am currently setting up a petition for all non resident Indians to sign for the same purpose, why don't we put our heads together and create something big? What do you think?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Veerpal Kaur QUEANBEYAN EAST, AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      I m also an Indian woman who was physically tortured by the husband's family and never want to go back to India.

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    • Marisa Wells AUSTRALIA
      • over 1 year ago

      This behavior is not ok. I prefer healthy boundaries. I think we need immediate leadership towards education, legal protection and support services, both in India and at home. Sister schools and social media can also make their contribution. Part of the problem appears to be a loss of dignity by perpetrators, these people also need our help. I hope all affected can regain their self-respect and respect for others and contribute again to free and imaginative society.

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