Assam: Armyman gets lenient punishment of 3-months imprisonment for #sexualharassment #Vaw


Assam: Armyman accused of molestation sentenced to 3-months imprisonment

PTI / Monday, January 21, 2013 22:43 IST

An army personnel, accused of molesting a teenaged girl in Sibsagar, has been sentenced to three months imprisonment by an army court.

Lance Naik Anil Kumar Upadhaya was tried by an army court and has been sentenced to three months imprisonment, the army informed Sibsagar Deputy Commissioner JN Lahkar in a communication, official sources said on Monday.

Upadhaya has also been demoted to a lower post from his current post of Lance Naik, the communique added.

The teenager was allegedly molested by Army jawans on patrolling duty near a forest in Dolopa area of the district on July 13 last year.

The girl who had gone to collect firewood from the forest was accosted by the armymen, posted in Nitaipukhuri camp, but she raised an alarm following which villagers rushed to the spot and saved her.

The incident led to wide protests in Assam with people demanding that the accused be handed over to police but army maintained that it would first conduct trial in its court.

 

#India-Train judges handling sex crimes in psychiatry #Vaw #Justice


 

DHNS
BANGALORE : The judiciary, especially judges handling cases related to sexual abuse against women, must have basic training in psychiatry and mental illness to handle the sensitivity of the subject, said the Indian Psychiatric Society president Prof Indira Sharma.


At the 65th annual national conference of Indian Psychiatric Society which began here on Thursday, Prof Sharma said, “It is unfortunate to hear cases about sexual abuse of women with mental illness. There is a need to relook into the judicial aspect of handling such cases,” she added.


Prof Sharma said there was no standard mental health policy in place and made out a case for having one. Referring to the recent Delhi gang-rape incident, she said there is a need to frame elaborate guidelines on handling rape victims and recommended that the amended anti-rape law be called the Jwala Act.


Prof Norman Sartorius, former director, Mental Health, World Health Organisation, Geneva, said due to rapid urbanisation and globalisation, the number of people suffering from mental illnesses has increased over the years. “It is unfortunate to hear that today’s world which measures everything in terms of economics has also tagged health as a commodity wherein you pay more, you get more even in terms of cure for illness,” he added.


Briefing about the recommendations sent to Justice Verma committee on amending laws against sexual abuse, Dr R Raghuram, Head, Department of Psychiatry, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, said rape victims should be counselled regularly in tandem with the legal process.


The four-day conference will witness a host of lectures by psychiatrists from across the world and will be attended by over 3,000 delegates including psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.

 

Madhya Pradesh NGO sends disabled minor girls to boys’ hostel as punishment #WTFnews #Vaw


By , TNN | Jan 10, 2013, 03.20 AM IST

Madhya Pradesh NGO sends minor girls to boys' hostel as punishment
For now Sehore administration has ruled out sexual abuse of the girls though there is no information on whether they had already been sent for medical examination.
BHOPAL: Like lambs sent to the wolves, an NGO entrusted with the welfare of minor girls — many of them disabled and mentally weak — had been sending them for months to the boys’ hostel next door in the name of “punishment”.

The shocking fact, which has just come to light, has startled and enraged people across Madhya Pradesh where the Sehore-based NGO, Bright Star Social Society, had been running the two hostels for boys and girls.

Girls terrorized

In raids carried out on Tuesday at the Mandi area of Sehore, which neighbours Bhopal, a team from the state commission for protection of child rights (SCPCR) found that the girls, almost all of whom were too terrorized to talk, would be forced into the boys’ rooms whenever they “made a mistake” or complained to officials about the poor facilities they had to live with.

“Senior madam would send us to the boys whenever she thought we should be punished for something we had done wrong,” one of the girls told the SCPCR officials. “We were then made to do dirty things. Often we were thrashed.” Another disabled girl was so terrified on being asked by the team what exactly went on there that she broke down and wouldn’t utter a word.

More worryingly, SCPCR chairperson Usha Chaturvedi told TOI that apart from gross irregularities in both the hostels, while records showed a total of 48 girls only 30 were present on Tuesday. “The rest, 18 of them, we were told by secretary (of the NGO) Avanish Jaffery, hadn’t turned up since the Diwali vacation,” she said. “Also, we found that all the 30 girls were stacked up in one room of 11 feet by 11 feet.”

The Sehore district administration has cancelled the licence of the NGO to run the hostels but little action has been taken against Sangeeta and Irshad Jaffery, who were heading operations. Questioned about it, district collector Kavindra Kiyawat said directives had been issued to the NGO to vacate the hostel within three days.

Kiyawat has for now ruled out sexual abuse of the girls though there is no information on whether they had already been sent for medical examination. SCPCR has asked for a report now and ordered the district project coordinator to trace the missing girls.

Meanwhile, during initial interrogation, Avanish confessed before the SCPCR team that though he had 15 days ago taken one of the girls to the boys hostel “on account of bed wetting”, he had not left her with them. “I kept the girl with me and my wife,” he said.

Rajya Shiksha Kendra commissioner Rashmi Arun Shami, along with social justice commissioner B K Batham, also inspected the hostels and spoke to the girls. Calling the incident “very sensitive”, both refused to divulge any further details about the alarming case.

 

#India- Women with Disabilities submit to Justice Verma #Rape #Vaw #Law #disability


 

January 4, 2013

Justice J.S. Verma

New Delhi

 

Sir,

 

Suggestions to the Committee

From the Perspective of Women with Disabilities

 

We the representatives of various organisations representing persons with disabilities while welcoming the setting up of this committee under your chairmanship are concerned over its limited terms of reference. It would have been better if the terms of reference of the committee had been much broader and not limited to two issues.

 

In the event, we would like to place before the Committee certain suggestions from the perspective of women with disabilities.

 

During the course of the last couple of years there has been an increase in the number of cases of sexual assault on girls and women with disabilities. Despite the increasing number of incidents being reported, sexual assaults and violence against women with disabilities continue to remain underreported.

 

Girls and women with disabilities are more vulnerable to exploitation. They are considered as soft targets with the perpetrators assuming that they can get away easily. In many cases such women are unable to comprehend or communicate about such acts of violence or assault they face.  Some reports suggest that they are upto three times more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse as compared to other women.

 

In many cases they are not taken seriously either by the police or the judicial system. Their difficulty in expressing themselves compounds matters even further.

 

India ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Article 6 of the Convention mandates that the country make specific provisions to end discrimination and violence faced by women with disabilities.

 

Further, Article 16 of the UNCRPD under the head “Freedom from Exploitation, Violence and Abuse” mandates that:

 

“1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social, educational and other measures to protect persons with disabilities, both within and outside the home, from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including their gender-based aspects.

 

“2. States Parties shall also take all appropriate measures to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse by ensuring, inter alia, appropriate forms of gender and age-sensitive assistance and support for persons with disabilities and their families and caregivers, including through the provision of information and education on how to avoid, recognize and report instances of exploitation, violence and abuse. States Parties shall ensure that protection services are age, gender and disability-sensitive.

 

“3. In order to prevent the occurrence of all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, States Parties shall ensure that all facilities and programmes designed to serve persons with disabilities are effectively monitored by independent authorities.

 

“4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote the physical, cognitive and psychological recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration of persons with disabilities who become victims of any form of exploitation, violence or abuse, including through the provision of protection services. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment that fosters the health, welfare, self-respect, dignity and autonomy of the person and takes into account gender and age-specific needs.

 

“5. States Parties shall put in place effective legislation and policies, including women and child-focused legislation and policies, to ensure that instances of exploitation, violence and abuse against persons with disabilities are identified, investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted.”

 

There is an urgent necessity for laws in the country to be amended to provide for these and harmonise them with the UNCRPD.

 

Compilation of Data

 

Unfortunately, there are no consolidated figures with regard to violence against women with disabilities. But the magnitude and scale of the attacks can be gauged by the fact that in the year 2012 alone there have been dozens of cases of sexual violence on women with disabilities reported in media from the state of West Bengal alone. Despite this high incidence, no attempt has been made to even map the magnitude of the problem. Consequently, neither the NCRB nor any other source has authentic figures.

 

It would therefore be pertinent that when such cases are registered, crimes against women with disabilities be also recorded as a sub-category like in the case of crimes against women from the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes etc.

 

Provide Adequate

Support to Victims

 

A team from the National Commission for Women visited West Bengal on April 3 and 4, 2012 in the wake of reports of increasing attacks against women with disabilities. It had made the following recommendations:

 

“We would like to recommend that the requirements of persons with special needs have to be kept in mind by all police stations and medical establishments so that they are provided with handholding support including services of interpreters, readers, professionals, psychologists and NGOs depending on the nature of the case. A panel of experts for this purpose can be prepared for each district in consultation with the Disabilities Commissioner and the WCD Department”

 

It would also be pertinent here to look into the rules framed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.

 

Rules framed under this Act mandate that:

 

(1) In each district, the DCPU shall maintain a register with names, addresses and other contact details of interpreters, translators and special educators for the purposes of the Act, and this register shall be made available to the Special Juvenile Police Unit (hereafter referred to as “SJPU”), local police, magistrate or Special Court, as and when required.

 

(2) The qualifications and experience of the interpreters, translators, Special educators, and experts, engaged for the purposes of sub-section (4) of section 19, sub-sections (3) and (4) of section 26 and section 38 of the Act, shall be as indicated in these rules.

 

(3) Where an interpreter, translator, or Special educator is engaged, otherwise than from the list maintained by the DCPU under sub-rule (1), the requirements prescribed under sub-rules (4) and (5) of this rule may be relaxed on evidence of relevant experience or formal education or training or demonstrated proof of fluency in the relevant languages by the interpreter, translator, or special educator, subject to the satisfaction of the DCPU, Special Court or other authority concerned.

 

(4) Interpreters and translators engaged under sub-rule (1) should have functional familiarity with language spoken by the child as well as the official language of the state, either by virtue of such language being his mother tongue or medium of instruction at school at least up to primary school level, or by the interpreter or translator having acquired knowledge of such language through his vocation, profession, or residence in the area where that language is spoken.

 

(5) Sign language interpreters, Special educators and experts entered in the register under sub-rule (1) should have relevant qualifications in sign language or special education, or in the case of an expert, in the relevant discipline, from a recognized University or an institution recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India.

 

(6) Payment for the services of an interpreter, translator, Special educator or expert whose name is enrolled in the register maintained under sub-rule (1) or otherwise, shall be made by the State Government from the Fund maintained under section 61 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, or from other funds placed at the disposal of the DCPU, at the rates determined by them, and on receipt of the requisition in such format as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf.

 

(7) Any preference expressed by the child at any stage after information is received under sub-section (1) of section 19 of the Act, as to the gender of the interpreter, translator, Special educator, or expert, may be taken into consideration, and where necessary, more than one such person may be engaged in order to facilitate communication with the child.

 

(8) The interpreter, translator, Special educator, expert, or person familiar with the manner of communication of the child engaged to provide services for the purposes of the Act shall be unbiased and impartial and shall disclose any real or perceived conflict of interest. He shall render a complete and accurate interpretation or translation without any additions or omissions, in accordance with section 282 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

 

(9) In proceedings under section 38, the Special Court shall ascertain whether the child speaks the language of the court adequately, and that the engagement of any interpreter, translator, Special educator, expert or other person familiar with the manner of communication of the child, who has been engaged to facilitate communication with the child, does not involve any conflict of interest.

 

(10) Any interpreter, translator, Special educator or expert appointed under the provisions of the Act or its rules shall be bound by the rules of confidentiality, as described under section 127 read with section 126 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

 

It would be in the fitness of things if similar provisions are made for adult women with disabilities who are subjected to sexual abuse.

 

We suggest that concerned Ministries and Departments be directed to issue advisories to police stations, courts, legal services authorities, government hospitals and health centres to provide all the required support including, access to interpreters and social workers to the women with disabilities who approach them.

 

Also there needs to be accountability in the matter of making services of an interpreter/counsellor available to victims.

 

Training Of Police/Judiciary

& Medical Professionals

 

Training/sensitisation of police officers, judiciary and medical professionals on issues concerning persons with disabilities, particularly women with disabilities and the violence they face should be made mandatory.

 

We suggest that there must be Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in place for the police to follow while investigating cases of sexual assault. These SOPs must refer to the specific needs of women with disabilities, at each stage of the investigation and the role of the police during trial.

 

Abuse within Institution

 

A large number of women with disabilities are abused within institutions like hospitals and shelter homes.

 

Apart from sexual abuse, at times in some institutions these women are not clothed properly and are also subjected to verbal abuse. The guidelines issued by the NHRC should be strictly adhered to in such cases.

 

A monitoring and regulatory authority has to be established at the district level consisting of activists and specialists from the district who will have visiting rights and access to these places for regular check ups. Periodic inspection of these institutions by the authority so established should be made mandatory.

 

Counselling and Rehabilitation

 

Policy and legal measures to prevent and reduce violence against women with disabilities and shield them against such abuses by themselves are not enough. Necessary legal aid/help to bring the perpetrators of such crime to justice has to be provided.

 

Victims of such crimes have to be provided with adequate and appropriate counselling facilities. In the case of a victim getting pregnant consequent to sexual abuse, appropriate counselling and options should be offered to the victims.

 

Rehabilitation of such victims is also paramount. Rehabilitation measures should equip the victims with knowledge and skills to be able to engage in productive livelihood.

 

In the annexure appended herewith we have cited certain instances of sexual assaults against women with disabilities to demonstrate the nature of the vulnerabilities faced by women with disabilities and how they have been handled by the existing institutional and legal machinery.

 

We hope that the Committee will consider these issues also seriously as also the wider issues involved.

 

 

Signatory organisations, in alphabetical order:

 

 

  1. Aarth Astha, Delhi
  2. Centre for Women’s Development Studies, Delhi
  3. Centre for Care of Tortured Victims, Kolkata
  4. Differently-Abled Welfare Federation, Kerala
  5. Gujarat Viklang Adhikar Manch, Gujarat
  6. Haryana Viklang Adhikar Manch, Haryana
  7. Himachal Viklang Adhikar Manch, Himachal Pradesh
  8. Human Rights Law Network, Delhi
  9. Janarth, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
  10. Jharkhand Viklang Morcha, Jharkhand
  11. Karnataka Rajya Angavikalara Mattu Palakara Okkota
  12. Lakshwadeep Disabled Association, Lakshwadeep
  13. Manipur Rights for the Disabled, Manipur
  14. Marg, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
  15. Mehac Foundation, Delhi
  16. Paschim Banga Rajya Prathibandhi Sammelani, West Bengal
  17. Platform for Rights of Disabled, Orissa
  18. Point of View, Mumbai
  19. Sangarsha Apang Ani Palak Sangh, Aurangabad
  20. Snehi, Delhi
  21. Sruti Disability Rights Centre, Kolkata, West Bengal
  22. Tamilnadu Assn for the Rights of Differently-Abled & Caregivers, Tamilnadu
  23. The Banyan, Tamilnadu
  24. Vikalangula Hakkula Jathiya Vedika, Andhra Pradesh

 

 

Prepared by:

 

National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled

4, Ashoka Road, New Delhi 110 001

Tel. 23369598, 9868768543

 

Annexure

 

 

Certain Instances of Sexual Assaults Against Women With Disabilities Demonstrating The Nature Of The Vulnerabilities

 

Sexual Assault

On a Girl with Intellectual Disability

 

A young girl with intellectual disability was repeatedly raped and abused within Ashreya, a government residential institute in Chandigarh. The girl was an orphan who was raised by the Missionaries of Charity and later shifted to this home. She did not complain at any point of time. The abuse came into light when she was found to be pregnant.

 

The Supreme Court Judgement CIVIL APPEAL NO.5845 OF 2009 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 17985 of 2009) Suchita Srivastava & Anr. …Versus Chandigarh Administration …  observed:

 

“On 16.5.2009, a medical social worker and a staff nurse working at ‘Ashreya’ observed that the victim was showing signs of nausea and had complained about pain in her lower abdomen in addition to disclosing the fact that she had missed her last two menstrual periods. Acting on their own initiative, the medical social worker and the staff nurse conducted a pregnancy test with a urine sample and found it to be positive. Following this development, a medical board consisting of two gynaecologists and a radiologist was constituted on 18.5.2009. The gynaecologists then examined the victim in a clinical environment and concluded that she had been pregnant for 8-10 weeks at the time. The radiologist also confirmed the fact of pregnancy on the basis of an ultrasound examination and recorded a gestation of approximately 9 weeks on the same day.”

 

The girl was unable to comprehend that she was being assaulted. Secondly, she was also unable to identify the perpetrators. This case is being cited to underline the fact that in cases where women with mental illness or intellectual disability are assaulted they are often not able to complain and even their care-givers in some cases are unaware of the abuse they are subjected to.

 

In a case reported from Aurangabad, Maharashtra a few days back, an attempt was made to molest a 29 year old woman with intellectual disability who at the time of the incident was alone in the house. She stays with her brother. The brother was initially reluctant to even lodge a complaint at the Police Station.

 

Sexual Assault

On A Blind Girl

 

Given below is the testimony of a Blind girl at a Public Hearing on Issues affecting Women with Disabilities organised by the Jadavpur University in collaboration with Sruti Disability Rights Centre, Kolkata.

 

“I face sexual abuse regularly. I have to commute to college by public bus. I need help of others in crossing roads and even during bus rides. One day I asked a man who was standing at the bus stop to help me to get into the bus. I asked him to hold my hand and then I realised he was touching my body also. I was very nervous – I thought if I protested he will let me go off and I will meet with an accident. You know how crowded buses in Kolkata are. This man kept on touching me in an inappropriate manner inside the bus. But I could not protest. And if I would have said anything, who would have believed? I can not see, so for me to identify him would be difficult. And others would think that he held my hands just to help me board the bus. So would they believe me?

 

“These kinds of incidents happen regularly. I do not know if it happened to any of my friends, I never discussed the same with them. This is something, I think shameful to discuss.”

 

 

Incidents of Rape of

Women with Hearing Impairment

 

Several cases of rape/assault on women with hearing/speech impairment have been reported during the course of the last year.

 

In one such case in February 2012 a hearing impaired girl was raped by a doctor inside the premises of the Bankura Medical College in West Bengal. According to the complaint lodged by the victim’s mother, the resident doctor of the hospital took the victim for medical examination inside his room and raped her. She could not identify the accused in the identification parade as she later told her mother that she was not informed by police or any concerned person what to do when she was taken inside for the same. As she was hearing & speech impaired and illiterate as well, the authorities did not know how to communicate with her.

 

In another case, again from West Bengal a national level Para athlete who had won several medals including at the National Championship in 2006, was on her way back from Raiganj to her house in Hemtabad on June 23, 2012 in an auto-rickshaw.  Taking advantage of the fact that the girl was hearing and speech impaired, the auto-driver took the girl to his house where he raped her. In this case, the girl was able to give a complaint in writing.

 

Assaults within Institutions

The Case of Dulal Smriti Samsad (Hooghly, West Bengal)

 

A young woman’s body was found buried within the compound of a NGO run home, Dulal Smriti Samsad, in July 2012. Investigations found out that Guriya, a destitute woman who was mentally ill, was brought to this home by West Bengal police was subjected to sexual abuse regularly and killed.

 

The incident came to light after one of the villagers staying nearby got wind of it. He informed others and later on the story was picked up by the media.

 

It was found that despite the home being registered under the Persons with Disabilities Act, National Trust Act as well as Juvenile Justice Act, there was no monitoring by any government agency. During investigations it also came to light that several other inmates (most of them were destitute mentally ill or women with intellectual disability) were routinely sexually abused. Men from outside the home, with connivance of officials of the home committed the crime after dusk. Some of the women when interrogated were also able to give names of men who exploited them. Medical examination of some of the victims also revealed signs of regular sexual intercourse. Copper-T was found inserted in the bodies of a few inmates.

 

It is obvious that this abuse and exploitation of hapless women was happening over a period of time, as the victims were unable to express themselves or those who were hearing them did not believe their versions. Even during questioning after the first death was reported, the women were unable to narrate their experience, given their mental condition.

 

 

#Mumbai- Girl jumps out of auto to foil molestation bid #Vaw


rape

PTI, Jan 4, 2013, Thane

A teenaged girl jumped out of a moving autorickshaw to save herself from the clutches of three men, who allegedly tried to molest and kidnap her, in Mumbra township of neighbouring Thane district, police said on Friday.

The 17-year-old girl boarded an autorickshaw on a shared basis along with two men in Mumbra yesterday morning.

However, when she realised that the autorickshaw driver was taking the vehicle on a different route, she raised an alarm, police sub-inspector Chihvad Shetty said.

But, the men sitting besides her allegedly tried to molest her in the moving vehicle and assaulted her.

However, the girl managed to jump out from the moving vehicle to save herself and later went to Mumbra police station and filed a complaint against three unidentified persons, including the autorickshaw driver, Mr. Shetty said.

Police have registered an offence under sections 366 (abduction), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 323 of the IPC and have launched a search for the accused.

A similar incident was reported in Bihar’s Bhojpur district on Thursday where a woman jumped from a speeding express train to escape from molesters, who were identified as army jawans.

Invite- A midnight march in #Hyderabad @Jan 5, 2013 #Vaw


Dear All,

Some of us in Hyderabad have been planning to organize a mid night march for a while now where women can claim their right on the night space. With the recent energy everywhere, we think we should go ahead this idea sooner than later.

 

We also have a facebook page. Please like and share it with your friends-
https://www.facebook.com/MidnightMarchHyderabad?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite


The march will not focus on the delhi incident alone but about all kinds of sexual violence against women. We are trying to mobilize organized and unorganized working class, women, students and IT employees, transgender community etc. Please spread the around and give us any contacts you have to help mobilize women from different walks of life in Hyderabad.

Date: 5th Jan 2013 
Time : From 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Route : From Tankbund to Liberty to Punjagutta.

For regular updates check facebook page

 Below is a small write up about the why we want to do this march
                                                            Night Monologue
 
This is night’s (8pm-5am) letter to the people of Hyderabad.
Dear women and men,
I am dark and beautiful and have the moon, the stars and the cool air. I have the lights and I am subtle. Yet, in spite of all these virtues, I am jealous of the day. The day, she has millions walking around without fear, or with lesser fear. Men, women and children, all moving  around, in the stark whiteness of the sun. Well, most cultures hate me, I am discriminated against, I am evil and I am where all the wrong happens and the women have particularly been made to hate me and fear me. If they don’t adhere to hating me, they are punished and incarcerated for liking me.
I see a change in the metros of India – men and women are beginning to walk and travel around at night too. However, women are still punished and they still fear me. Look at the steel and concrete skeletons gathering their flesh, women working all around making their walls, twenty-four-seven to fill their and their children’s stomachs  (sometimes their men’s alcohol needs) and in this pursuit, they face abuse day in and day out. And the woe of the women who leave their homes to feed hungry mouths in their village, the bus stands and buses become arenas for men to exhibit their male brutality. Oh yes! The young free generation that wants to enjoy me need their men and their cars around to keep them safe. The day witnesses them too but not the way I do – I am torn and wretched, witnessing the violence that women face. But I am hopeful for a better future, where I am less hated and feared.
Women, come out and meet me, I can be safe if you claim me. Men, join the women in making me a safe space. There is more beauty and comfort when both men and women can walk without fear in my streets.
Come join me in large numbers and set me free!
Warm regards,
Night.
FREE THE NIGHT: it belongs to both men and women
·         Why is it dangerous for women to walk at night?
·         Why does a woman need to be protected by a man, (can men really protect women?)
·         Why can’t men and women co-exist in the night streets as well? (not that we have a harmonious existence during the day either)
·         Why can’t men be trusted to not abuse women?
·         Why can’t we make the space safe instead of keeping women indoors?
The conservative and conventional answer:
o   It’s our culture and it won’t change overnight.
o   Why do you want to risk your safety?
o   Think of your parents /husband/children.
o   Men are like that, i.e. they are primitive and cannot control themselves.
o   It is not possible to police the streets everywhere, all the time.
o   Women are inviting trouble by going out at night.
o   Only loose women walk at night.
A lot of these reasons might seem valid, however, as young women in Hyderabad, we would like to see these questions addressed and the night space more women friendly.
Like most women in India, we have faced sexual harassment of varying degrees and circumstances have led us to realize that the night space in particular is one where women are most vulnerable, be it working, using the libraries, hanging out with friends, travelling, emergency situations, taking a walk etc. This violence is experienced by women of every class, caste, age group, religion and ethnicity in our country and the world.
Ø  The question should no longer be about just keeping ourselves safe but of making the night safe for everyone, men, women, transgender and children.
Ø  Giving culture as an answer cannot justify inequality of accessing any type of space.
Ø  Saying that men are primitive should not take away a responsibility from perpetrators of sexual abuse in any space, including(!!) the night space.
Ø  Husbands, fathers, sons – tell each other that’s it’s not a matter of a girl/woman being raped, it’s a matter of a guy raping a girl. Start seeing that that being safe or unsafe is not in the inherent nature of the night, it’s in the nature in which we behave at night.
Ø  And many more…..
Perhaps we can start with small steps of reclaiming this space that men have ruled and while doing so, some of them abused women who tried to enter it.
We want a midnight walk in the city to send a message to the women that the night is also ours and to the men they need to respect women as fellow humans in the night too.
We envision it to be a cultural event as much as a political event. We would like your ideas and support in making this thought a reality.
Tejaswini and Natha

 

 

Kerala: 6- year -old girl sexually abused by her father and his friends after forcing her to drink alcohol #Vaw #WTFnews


 rape

 

Dec 09, 2012   Perumpavoor, Maps4aid.com

Action Taken: Following a complaint by the girl’s mother, police registered a case against 40-year-old Kora, who is absconding, under Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act and IPC Section 328 (giving liquor to a minor).
Description:

A six-year-old girl was sexually abused by her father and his friends after she was forced to drink alcohol at Perumpavoor near Kochi in Kerala.

The incident came to light after the girl showed some behavioural problems. She was first taken to a paediatrician and then to psychiatrist Ajesh Ramesh. The girl told Ramesh that her father Kora had sexually abused her several times after making her drink alcohol. He then offered her to his friends too, Ramesh added.

Following a complaint by the girl’s mother, police registered a case against 40-year-old Kora, who is absconding, under Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act and IPC Section 328 (giving liquor to a minor). The victim’s mother said she had divorced her husband six months ago and one of her two daughters was with him as per the court order. She suspected that the girl has been abused since then. More shocking was the mother’s accusation that though she had lodged a complaint, the inspector concerned has failed to take action after which she approached the Superintendent of Police (Rural).

Source: Dec 8, 2012, DHNS & Agencies

 

#India- Kerala Shame- Father, Brother and Uncle rape Minor, arrested #Vaw #Torture


 

 

Father, brother, uncle rape minor, arrested in Kerala
PTI
Thalassery, November 27, 2012

The father, brother and an uncle of a 13 year-old girl from nearby Dharmadom in north Kerala’s Kannur district have been arrested for allegedly raping the minor for the past two years.

The shocking incident came to light two days ago when the 8th standard student of a local school  was seen crying and refused to go home even after school hours. When one of her teachers enquired, the petrified girl narrated her plight. The school authorities immediately informed the police and a complaint was registered.

The girl’s father, her 15-year-old brother and an uncle have been arrested, Thalassery Circle Inspector, MV Vinod Kumar, who is probing the case said.

The brother has been sent to juvenile home while the other two were produced in court and remanded to judicial custody.

The girl told police that she was sexually assaulted by the three since she was in her sixth standard.

According to Vinod Kumar, the victim has also told the police that her elder sister, who had committed suicide two years ago, had also been raped.

Meanwhile, Kerala Vanitha Commission chairperson, K Rosakutty told PTI that the incident was an ‘insult’ to Kerala’s conscience.

The Commission would be writing to chief minister and home minister demanding re-enquiry into the case of the suicide of the victim’s elder sister.

“This is a shocking case of two minor sisters being raped by family members. The elder sister, an 8th standard student, had committed suicide is the police version. But it needs to be probed as no proper inquiry was done then”, she said, adding, both the cases were related.

As uncertainty looms large about the victim’s future, the Commission was prepared to take her under its care, she said.

The victim has been presently housed at a home run by the Child Welfare committee. Efforts needs to be made to ensure that there were no interference in the case, she said.

Strongly condemning the incident, K Ajitha, president of “Anweshi”, a women’s organisation, said anti-rape case clinics needs to be set up in the state as early as possible.

 

Bombay HC-slams cops for insensitive report- Shelter Home Horror #Rape #Vaw


Mankhurd shelter home horror

Appoints a three-member committee for a fresh probe into allegations of negligence, sexual abuse and torture

Yogesh Sadhwani

Posted On Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A week after Mumbai Mirror reported on allegations of rape, negligence and torture at the state-run shelter for women, Navjeevan Mahila Vasti Gruh, Bombay High Court disapproved the probe report submitted by deputy commissioner of police, Crime Branch, on grounds that it lacked sensitivity.

DCP Ambadas Pote, in his report, denied allegations made by an inmate of the Mankhurd home, in the interview carried by Mumbai Mirror on October 29.

Expressing surprise at the report, HC has now appointed a three-member panel to probe the allegations afresh.

The panel comprises Dr Asha Bajpai from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, renowned counsellor Dr Harish Shetty, and Rashmi Karandikar, superintendent of police.

In his report, Pote stated that his Special Investigating Team recorded statements of around 100 persons, including staff, inmates, social workers who routinely visit the home, and police personnel, and that none of them mentioned sexual abuse. He also stated that the inmates were given adequate food and were well taken care of.

Pote’s report was filed in HC, which is hearing a suo moto PIL after receiving an email from activist Purnima Upadhyay, who feared for the safety of women after reading the interview of an inmate who had escaped on October 27.

While government pleader Dhairyasheel Nalavade claimed that no such incidents occurred at the home, advocate Shubhada Khot, the amicus curie, pointed out several flaws in investigation.

The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar said that the investigation was carried out in an insensitive manner. “Where are the women now? Are they still under the same caretakers?” asked HC. When informed that the women were indeed under the same caretakers, HC said, “Tell us, what action are you taking against the caretakers referred to by the woman?”

The bench stated that the police officer merely looked at the specific allegation of “armed men barging into the home, randomly picking up girls and raping them at knife-point”. The court pointed out that the video-taped interview revealed that rowdy elements would visit the premises and on their request woman caretakers would ask inmates to go out with them. Those who dared refuse, were tortured.

“What does this mean, what more you want?” the judges asked Nalavade, expressing surprise that no FIR was registered. “One statement of one witness is sufficient to lodge an FIR, this statement contains more than sufficient material.”

Further pointing out that “apparently many wrong things are going on there” HC stated that the “State authority should have appointed a sensitive person to investigate such a case”.

Meanwhile, in his affidavit, Ujjwal Uke, principal secretary, Women and Child Development Department, admitted that with a capacity for 100, the home which had 298 inmates, was overcrowded. He admitted that around 100 women continue to languish there despite release orders, due to lack of escorts to send them home.

The next hearing is on November 26.

 

India-No law to protect child adopted within family


 

Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times
Bhopal, October 02, 2012

Six-year-old Shivani was raped and beaten to death by her paternal uncle and aunt, who were acting as her foster parents, in Indore. The father of the child, resident of a village in Uttar Pradesh, had handed over the child to Rajesh Sengar and Bebi four months ago. The child was physically and  sexually abused  all through her stay with her uncle and aunt and finally succumbed to her injuries.

September 16: A 12-year-old girl complained to her neighbours in Bagh Sewania (Bhopal) that her maternal uncle, with whom she and her three siblings were staying for last several months, tortured them and made them work like servants. Their father is in jail for murdering their mother. The police, Child Line and State Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (SCPCR) intervened and finally handed over the three kids to their grandmother and paternal uncle.

August 2012: Neighbours in Koh-e-Fiza (Bhopal) called up Child Line to complain that two girls – aged 11 and 6 – were being regularly abused by their relatives to whom they had been handed over a few months ago. These kids were also treated like servants. The father of the kids had remarried after their mother died. Child Line and district Children’s Welfare Committee (CWC) intervened and handed over the children to their parents, despite lot of resistance from the “adopting” family.

These incidents do not only horrify, but also bring to light a dangerous legal loophole. There is practically no law or regulation that guides intra-family adoption – children who move from their biological parents to foster parents within the same wider family.

While there are strict procedures and rules in place for legal adoption of orphans or abandoned children, there is nothing to stop people from merely handing over their kids to friends or relatives apparently to ensure better care. Recent incidents suggest that these children are more often than not subjected to acute physical, mental and even sexual abuse by their relatives-turned-foster parents.

“There is nothing really in the law to stop people from doing this or to monitor the condition of such kids once they are handed over. The only way is to create massive awareness among people to spot and report any child abuse in their neighbourhood,” said state representative of National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR) and Bhopal Child Line in-charge Archana Sahay.

She, however, said that in case there is a complaint about children being “informally” handed over, both the families that give away and receive the child could be booked. Sahay adds that a considerable number of cases of abuse by informal adoptive families have been reported in the recent past. “This indicates a very scary trend. People may be looking at adopting children of poor relatives as they find difficult to get full-time servants. And if the child is a girl, then the chances of sexual abuse increases,” she said.

Amita Jain, who heads the Bhopal-based adoption agency Matrichhaya, also expressed concern about such informal adoption process and stressed on the need of alertness on the part of neighbours to detect and report any such cases of abuse.

Even in cases of formal legal adoptions, post-adoption monitoring has been a weak area. This was revealed by Alok Sharma, the deputy director of the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) and in-charge of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in MP.

Sharma conceded that post-adoption monitoring in case of even legal adoption is a neglected area. “There is of course nothing that we could do about informal adoption within families or friends,” he says. As for monitoring in case of formal adoption, the department is now thinking of involving the district ICPS officers in the process, said Sharma.

Who’s Watching?
The Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) monitors the process with support of the state-level agencies.

Once the legal process is completed and child is given for adoption, the adoptive families are expected to give quarterly reports about progress and well-being of the child to the adoption agencies as well as the court for three years.

The agencies are expected to submit half-yearly reports to CARA or a state agency for two years after adoption.

Adoption agencies have to often pressure adoptive families to give the report. Also in cases where the child goes for adoption out of the city or state, it becomes difficult to monitor, says Amita Jain of Matrichhaya.

The state government is thinking of starting external monitoring through the district ICPS officers.

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