The Prime Minister of India & the Chief Justice: Enact & implement new laws to protect Indian women from rape
To protect 500 million women in India.
- The Prime Minister of India
- Supreme Court Of India
The Chief Justice
She is no longer with us but lives in our hearts.
In light of the horrific December 17, 2012 gang-rape of the “Braveheart,” “Amanat” or “Damini” a 23-year-old medical student in New Delhi, India,
Whereas, Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among India's major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures,
Whereas Indian government data show the number of reported rape cases in India rose by nearly 17 percent between 2007 and 2011,
Whereas in 2011, a rape was reported on average every 20 minutes in India while just 26 percent of the cases resulted in convictions, according to the National Crime Records Bureau,
Whereas many Indian police and other security services officers responsible for raping women enjoy virtual immunity as prior sanction is required for their prosecution even in cases of rape according to Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and Section 6 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958,
We the undersigned call on the Indian Parliament to:
1. Enact stiffer penalties for rapists that include not only jail time, but meaningful financial compensation to victims, as well as mandatory gender-sensitivity training. These penalties should be effective enough to serve as deterrents to rape with higher punishment for the rapists who exercise any authority over the victims
2. Enhance and urgently pass all pending bills that seek to protect women in consultation with human rights groups. These include the Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Bill 2012, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012 & pass the Women’s Reservation Bill.
3. Immediately purge section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 6 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958 so that public servants are made accountable in cases of rape.
4. Charge police officers who refuse to record a complaint as guilty of an offense.
We ask the Indian Government to:
5. Recruit women to fill the 400,000 current vacancies available in the Indian police force.
6. Establish dignified national standards and a uniform protocol for the medical treatment and collection of medical evidence in cases of sexual assault.
7. Ensure that all schools have a gender education curriculum that addresses the issue of rape.
8. Establish sensitivity training on women’s issues and rights in all police precincts.
We ask that the Police be made accountable through the following practices:
9. A woman should be interrogated only at her home.
10. During interrogation by a police officer, a woman should be allowed to have a male she trusts or women social workers present with her.
11. Women who are detained in custody should be kept in a separate lock-up meant for women only.
We the undersigned ask the Indian media and Bollywood to:
12. Launch a mass anti-rape, anti-groping educational campaign.
13. End the culture of shame that wrongly blames women for rape.
14. End the cultural acceptance of rape in India against all women regardless of caste, class, or faith.
We the undersigned ask the Indian Supreme Court to:
15. Set up a fast track court system across the country for rape cases.
16. Launch an investigation into police complicity in barring rape victims from reporting incidents through intimidation, harassment, bribery, and caste and/or religious prejudice ad in not apprehending the missing culprits.
17. Ask the government to submit a quarterly update from the relevant departments about the implementation of the laws for the protection of the women.
We the undersigned ask the Religious leaders to:
18. Use their position of influence to urge in their sermons and lectures to their followers about the great religious ideals of respect and honor of women
We the undersigned also pledge that:
1. We will personally treat all women with respect and demand the same from others.
2. We will intervene when we see a woman being harassed verbally or physically. In all such cases, we will insist on FIRs being lodged and acted upon.
3. We will demand all politicians to support the demands outlined above and not to allow any politician accused of rape to run for office.
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