Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) strongly condemns the brutal systemic and systematic patterns of abuse, harassment and violence meted out to residents of Government funded and NGO-run institutions and shelters in Bihar and everywhere else in India.
Furthermore, WSS stands in solidarity with all victims of State sponsored violence, families of the survivors and all those involved in exposing this long running racket in Bihar.
In early June 2018, the entire country was shocked when findings of a TISS social audit of government run shelter homes for the vulnerable revealed patterns of gross sexual violence, abuse and neglect. In particular, the media chose to focus on the testimonies of residents of a shelter home in Muzaffarpur where minor girls, some as young as 8 and 10, reported cases of horrific sexual violence. Many of these media reports, more sensational than sensitive zeroed in on a single home, in spite of the TISS report discussing similar instances of sexual assault in over 6 homes and other forms of abuse and neglect in homes across the state. The danger with this kind of reporting is that it bolsters the illusion that sexual violence within government institutions are one-off incidents as opposed to a systemic pattern in which shelter homes are turned into hubs of abuse and assault. Recent media reports tell us that two women at the Aasra shelter at Nepali Nagar, Patna, were reported dead under mysterious circumstances and two more have had to be hospitalised. Continue reading