Experiences of community response to sexual assualt/rape

Discussion cross-posted with Constellation Online community http://aidscompetence.ning.com/group/againstgenderbasedviolence/for...

Query

We have had some discussion in this group on sexual assault and rape triggered by a video shared by Tapati Dutta. Even after fatal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi in Dec triggered an uproar, conservative groups continued to suggest that somehow women were asking for it - by dressing provocatively, staying out late at night and daring to have male friends. Now a Bollywood actress is taking on the issue in a cheeky video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YILiCauhO8 

Irit commented...Suggesting that women are 'asking' to be abused, by wearing such & such clothes, is a terrible insolence that only men can invent. The fact is that : very modest women are raped ; young girls & even toddlers, who do not know right and wrong are raped ; old women who are not even attractive are raped. Means - women ARE raped by men, no matter what. the video itself - I don't like it at all. I do not believe making fun of the subject (even with a good intention) serves the purpose.

I realised that if we could find some experiences where communities are taking action and share widely so that communities learn from each other and it gives them energy and hope to take action in their own setting. I request the group to share any such experiences.

Thanks
Rituu

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Hi All,

Among the many inspiring stories on prevention of gender based violence (GBV), my favourites are:

1. Harassmap - Cairo - Egypt

Using mobiles / text messages to track GBV and mapping it in real time on the web. See here for details:

http://harassmap.org/en/what-we-do/the-map/

2. Pink Autorickshaws

"To ensure the safety of women, pink autorickshaws - a service exclusively for women - are being reintroduced in the city from Friday.

The Gurgaon traffic police have registered 21 pink autos, which will start from the MG Road Metro station and will only ferry women passengers.

The pink autos were first introduced in 2010. Initially, only 10 pink autos were introduced and gradually the number was increased to 50. But the service failed to garner a good response among women commuters".

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Gurgaon/Pink-autorickshaw-...

3. Taxis for and by Women

"One New Delhi woman, Meenu Vadera, has offered a new, relatively unheard of solution to address both the immediate safety concerns and underlying social challenges women face. She founded New Delhi's first and only all-female Taxi service "Women on Wheels" (a Shaka Consulting Wings Company) in 2008, a women-run taxicab company that helps provide jobs for resource-poor women while simultaneously helping women feel safer when traveling around one of India's most dangerous cities, particularly at night".

http://www.policymic.com/articles/61005/new-delhi-s-taxis-for-women...

Best

Pankaj

Yes I fully agree. 

  • A ten-year-old girl was allegedly raped inside a mini truck by an auto driver on the main road off KK Salai near Thoraipakkam on Sunday afternoon. The man lured the child to buy toys and took her in a mini truck.- TOI 3 hrs ago
  • A 38-year-old Kandivli businessman arrested for allegedly raping his employer and sending the video clips to her prospective groom.-TOI 13 Oct 2013,22:05 IST
  • A 38-year-old Nalasopara man arrested for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl.-TOI 12 Oct 2013,20:57 IST
  • Ollur police on Saturday arrested 50 - year old man, who sexually assaulted a 72 - year old woman and later dumped her naked in a pool of blood by roadside.-TOI 12 Oct 2013,19:13 IST
  • A 19-year-old married woman was allegedly abducted and raped by a youth in Sehore district.-
    TOI 11 Oct 2013,21:15 IST

The above news reports establish the fact that it is not the provocatively dressing etc are not the reason for rapes. Such men should be punished in such a way so that it should become lesson to others. Our legal system is not adequate for handling such cases. But then no system in this country works effectively. May be some woman may take advantage of the legal loopholes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6RdzHtO9Rs

The Lihok Pilipina Foundation based in Cebu City, Philippines pioneered the Bantay Banay or the community based approach to prevent and address rape and other forms of violence against women.  The Bantay  (watch) Banay  (family /community) are community organizations that have organized themselves to directly respond to cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse. These are organizations of youth, women, elderly, informal workers, professionals, government workers - practically from different sectors of the community who have undergone training on gender sensitivity, violence against women, legal literacy and even counseling. They elect their own set of officers, plan and conduct awareness raising, advocacy, direct assistance, coordinate with police, social workers, government health centers/hospitals, schools and other organizations and individuals who can help them address VAW. The common community based responses are:

  • Members prevent on-going violence by making noise, throwing stones at the roof, banging pots and pans, etc.
  • Bring warring couples to the barangay (village council)
  • Assist the victim through temporary shelter, referrals to the police, hospital or NGO
  • Sensitize members and neighbors on gender issues and laws affecting women and children
  • Contribute to a standby fund that can be used for transportation, immediate food in assisting victims
  • Respond to other community issues like: drainage maintenance, streetlights, garbage monitoring and others. 

The group was responsible for advocating for the anti-domestic violence ordinance in the city and province several years before the national Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act was passed.  The approach has been replicated in nine (9) regions in the country. For more information, you may contact me at www.womenchampiononline.com.

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