Tag Archives: sexual violence

WSS Statement On The #MeToo Violence In Bihar – Hindi

Please access the statement at following link:

Hindi WSS Statement #MeTooViolence in Bihar

 

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WSS Statement Condemning Barbaric Sexual Assault and Murder of Dalit and Adivasi Minor Girls In Tamil Nadu

WSS Statement Condemning Barbaric Sexual Assault and Murder of Dalit and Adivasi Minor Girls In Tamil Nadu

15th November 2018

WSS strongly condemns the barbaric assault and murder of a minor dalit girl in the outskirts of Salem district in Tamil Nadu on October 22nd 2018 by her upper caste neighbor and the brutal murder of an adivasi girl in Dharmapuri on November 10th 2018.

In Salem, a man from the dominant Mudaliar caste had made sexual advances towards the victim, Rajalakshmi, which she had refused, and later reported to her mother. A student of class 8, Rajalakshmi was the daughter of a graveyard worker, native of village Thalavaipatti Theruku Kaadu near Attur, Salem district. Since she was 9 years old, she had been facing sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances and abuse at the hands of her upper caste Mudaliar neighbor who is now 26. Everyone in the village was aware of the sexual abuse she had been facing, yet no one dared to confront the perpetrator. Continue reading

WSS Perspective Document On Sexual Harassment And Mechanisms For Redressal Of Complaints

This document is the outcome of a series of discussions within WSS in Delhi that began in late 2016 and picked up pace early in 2017. The purpose of this process was:
A. To share experiences of and develop a perspective on sexual harassment, sexual
violence and a range of other ways in which women are undermined (which we
have grouped under the term ‘gender discrimination’) in different kinds of
institutions, including spaces of progressive political interaction.
B. To outline our political perspective on how these questions may be approached
and dealt with, including but not limited to redressal mechanisms.
C. To propose a redressal mechanism for WSS.

Please click  on below link to access the full document.

WSS Perspective Document on Sexual Harassment

Condemn the State Sponsored Massacre Scripted as ‘Encounter’ in Gadchiroli and Bijapur in Central India

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) condemn the recent spate of genocidal violence unleashed by the Indian State on the adivasis of Central India in the form of ‘encounter’ killings in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra and Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. The alleged ‘encounter’, a term used in the subcontinent to describe the extra-judicial killing of citizens by the armed forces and police, in Gadchiroli district took place in the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border in the Rela-Kasnasur forest in the intervening night of 22nd-23rd April 2018. With more bodies being fished out of the Indravati River, the death toll of this alleged encounter has reached 39, nineteen of whom were women, all of whom killed by the Commando-60 (C-60) Squad of the Maharashtra Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). This was quickly followed by another encounter in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh on the 27th of April 2018 where eight more were killed in an operation led by the notorious Greyhound force of the Telangana Anti-Naxal Unit along with Chhattisgarh Police and the CRPF. This alleged encounter took place near the Ipenta village in Bijapur district with six women among those declared dead. These extra-judicial killings have resulted in the death of 47 persons, several of whom are unidentified, and with fears of more persons, including minors, missing from the districts of Gadchiroli and Bijapur. Reports coming out of area reveal heartbreaking accounts of how villagers including children gathered for a marriage function were rounded up and killed without provocation by the security forces. Continue reading

बलात्कारियों को राजकीय संरक्षण देना बंद करो!!!! (WSS Press Release)

बलात्कारियों को राजकीय संरक्षण देना बंद करो!!!!

हम हाल ही में देश में लगातार हो रही बालात्कार और यौन हिंसा की घट्नाओं की कड़ी निंदा करते हैं: जम्मू के कठुआ जिले की आठ साल की बच्ची, उ.प्र. के उन्नाव जिले की १५ साल की लड़की, सूरत, गुजरात में  ११ साल की लड़की, १५ साल की फरीदाबाद की लड़की, जिसकी लाश को भी नहीं बक्शा गया, पानीपत की ११ साल की लड़की, इन सभी घट्नाओं के खिलाफ हो रहे देशव्यापी आक्रोश के बावजूद हाल ही में हुई इंदौर की घटना, जिसमें एक चार महीने की बच्ची के साथ बलात्कार किया गया। हम आपराधिक कानून (संशोधन) अध्यादेश, 2018 के द्वारा यौन अपराध अधिनियम (2012) में लाये गए बदलाव की भी निंदा करते हैं जिसके जरिये सजाये मौत का प्रावधान किया गया है।

२१-२२ अप्रैल को इंदौर में यौन हिंसा और राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ महिलाएं (डब्लू.एस.एस) की दो दिवसीय,आठवी राष्ट्रीय बैठक हुई, जिसमें तेलंगाना, कर्नाटका, दिल्ली, छत्तीसगढ़, उत्तराखंड, हिमाचल प्रदेश, महाराष्ट्र, ओडिशा, राजस्थान और मध्य प्रदेश के सदस्यों ने भाग लिया। इस बैठक में डब्लू.एस.एस ने यह निष्कर्ष निकाला:

बलात्कार की बढती घटनाओं के खिलाफ देश व्यापी जन आक्रोश के बीच अपराधियों को मृत्युदंड देने की मांग उठी है, डब्लू.एस.एस मृत्युदंड के खिलाफ है।

गणतंत्र दिवस के एक दिन पहले 25 जनवरी को मध्य प्रदेश के आठ थानों की पुलिस ने धार जिले के भील समुदाय, पहले से ही अपराधी माने जाने वाले, के गाँव पर कथित रूप से उन लोगों के घर पर, जिनके खिलाफ पहले से ही वारंट है, बड़ी संख्या में छापा मारा। इन छापों के दौरान, चार महिलाओं का बलात्कार हुआ, जिनमें से एक गर्भवती थी और दो नाबालिग लड़कियों के साथ छेड़ छाड़ हुई। इन महिलाओं की आपबीती उतनी ही दहलाने वाली थी, जितनी की पड़ोसी राज्य छत्तीसगढ़ के बस्तर में आदिवासी महिलाओं के अनुभव थे।  इस खनिज प्रधान दक्षिण छत्तीसगढ़ के इलाके में कॉर्पोरेट घरानों के लिए रास्ता साफ़ करने के लिए पुलिस एवं सशस्त्र बलों के
छापे मारी अभियान में पिछले तीन वर्षों में पचास से अधिक महिलाओं के साथ यौन हिंसा व् बलात्कार की घटनाएं सामने आई है।

उपरोक्त घट्नाओं की रौशनी में यह स्पष्ट होता है की यौन हिंसा में राज्य सत्ता के नुमाइंदे, दबंग जाति एवं धार्मिक समूह द्वारा यौन हिंसा को अंजाम दिया जाना देखा है। जिससे साफ़ जाहिर होता है कि आपराधिक कानून संशोधन अध्याधेश (२०१८) महज एक छलावा है।  राष्ट्रीय अपराध रिकॉर्ड ब्यूरो २०१६ के आंकड़ों के अनुसार धारा 376 एवं बाल यौन अपराध संरक्षण कानून, २०१२ (pocso) के केसों में 94.6% बलात्कारी पीडिता की जान पहचान का होना पाया गया था- वो या तो करीबी रिश्तेदार, पडोसी, या परिचित था। ऐसी स्थिति में, पीडिता के लिए शिकायत दर्ज कराना बेहद मुश्किल हो जाता है, खासकर जब वह नाबालिग हो। नेशनल लॉ स्कूल ऑफ इंडिया यूनिवर्सिटी, बैंगलोर द्वारा जारी एक रिपोर्ट में, यह पाया गया कि वर्ष 2013 और 2015 के बीच पोक्सो के तहत दर्ज 667 केसों में , 67.5% पीडिता ने अपने बयान पलट दिए। पीडिता की चुप्पी या उस पर चुप रहने का दबाव, परिवार और समाज में पितृसत्तात्मक ढाँचे की गहरी पैठ का परिणाम है।

इसके पर्याप्त सबूत हैं कि सजाये मौत अपराधी पर लगाम लगाने में असफल रही है। उल्टे इसका असर, काफी हद तक, वास्तव में लोगों को अपराध की रिपोर्ट करने से रोकता है। इसके अलावा, विभिन्न अध्ययनों से निष्कर्ष निकले हैं कि मृत्युदंड मनमाने तरीके से दिया जाता है और लगभग सभी मामलों में, यह देखा गया है कि इसे केवल समाज के सबसे हाशिए के और उत्पीड़ित वर्गों के खिलाफ इस्तेमाल किया जाता है। यही नहीं, महिला आन्दोलन और वकीलों ने इस बात के समर्थन में तर्क दिए हैं कि सजा गंभीर होने के फलस्वरूप अपराध भी गंभीर रूप धारण कर लेता है और बलात्कार के बाद पीडिता को मार डालने की संभावना बढ जाती है।

निर्भया मामले के फलस्वरूप, 2013 में स्थापित न्यायमूर्ति वर्मा समिति ने मृत्युदंड के खिलाफ मजबूत सिफारिशें की, जिसमें उन्होनें मृत्युदंड को “सजा और सुधार के क्षेत्र में एक प्रतिकूल कदम” कहा। इसके चलते, केंद्र द्वारा आपराधिक कानून (संशोधन) अधिनियम 2013 में मृत्युदंड को नहीं जोड़ा गया। यहां तक कि पोक्सो के संबंध में, समस्या वास्तव में  सज़ा न मिलने की है न की सज़ा के कड़े नहीं होने की। व्यापक विचार विमर्श के बगैर, इस अध्यादेश को देश पर थोप दिया गया है। यह अध्यादेश जारी करके, भाजपा सरकार ने जान बूझ कर अपने दल के अपराधी तत्वों और उनके समर्थकों से ध्यान हटाने की कोशिश की है। मृत्युदंड के आम जनसमर्थन, जिसे मीडिया बड़ाचढा कर दिखा रहा है, उसका तुष्टिकरण करके सरकार ने वाहवाही लूट ली। औरतों के प्रति निहायत ही खोखली सहानुभूति दिखाने वाली सरकार ने मृत्युदंड को उनके बचाव के लिए लागू करके अपनी मर्दानगी का उदाहरण प्रस्तुत किया है। वही, ट्रांसजेंडर व्यक्ति (अधिकारों का संरक्षण) विधेयक 2016, के अंतर्गत बलात्कार की सज़ा सिर्फ २ साल तक सीमित की गयी है, जबकी महिलाओं से बलात्कार की घट्नाओं में सात वर्ष की सज़ा का प्रावधान है। क्या किन्नर देश के नागरिक नहीं?

यह विडम्बंना है कि जहाँ मध्य प्रदेश राज्य सरकार ने बलात्कार को बेलगाम बढने का अवसर दिया है और देश में बलात्कार की घट्नाओं में सर्वोच्च स्थान पर है, आज वाह वाही लूटने के लिए बच्चों के बलात्कारियों के लिए मृत्यु दंड की मांग करने में सबसे आगे है।

देश में व्यापक तौर पर हाशिए पर फेके गए कमजोर समुदायों के खिलाफ जो डर व् आतंक का माहौल  आज भाजपा के शासन में फैलाया जा रहा है वह संघ परिवार की विचारधारा का हिस्सा है, और उपरोक्त  घट्नाओं को इससे अलग करके नहीं देखा जा सकता। अनिवार्य रूप से, ऐसे माहौल में महिलाओं का शरीर युद्ध का मैदान बन जाता है जिस पर यह हिंसा खेली जाती है। चाहे धर्म के नाम पर कठुआ में बकरवाल- मुसलिम जनजाति को खदेड़ने के लिए हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादियों द्वारा बलात्कार को राजनैतिक हथियार के तौर पर इस्तेमाल किया जा रहा हो, या फिर उन्नाव की तरह जहाँ आरोपी भाजपा का विधायक हो जिसे सत्ताधारी पार्टी का संरक्षण मिल रहा हो , इन सभी अपराधों में यह प्रतीत होता है कि सत्ताधारी दल की अपराधिक तत्वों से गहरी सांठ गाँठ है।

डब्लू.एस.एस. मांग करता है कि आपराधिक कानून (संशोधन) अध्यादेश 2018 को रद्द किया जाये। हम समाज के प्रगतिशील व्यक्तियों और समूहों का आह्वान करते हैं कि वे पीड़ितों के समर्थन में खड़े हों, ताकि कम से कम कानूनी प्रक्रियाओं का पालन हो और मौजूदा कानून प्रभावी बनाया जा सके।

इंदौर

23.04.2018

अजिता, शालिनी, रिनचिन, निशा

        राष्ट्रीय समंवयक, राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ महिलाएं (डब्लू.एस.एस)

“यौन हिंसा व राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ महिलाएं” (WSS) नवम्बर 2009 में गठित एक गैर-अनुदान प्राप्त जमीनी प्रयास है. इस अभियान का मकसद है- हमारे शारीर व हमारे समाज पर हो रही हिंसा को ख़त्म करना. हमारा नेटवर्क पुरे देश में फैला हुआ है और इसमें शामिल हम औरतें अनेक राजनीतिक परिपाटियों, जन संगठनों, छात्र व युवा संगठनों, नागरिक अधिकार संगठनों एवं व्यक्तिगत स्तर पर हिंसा व दमन के खिलाफ सक्रीय हैं. हम औरतों व लड़कियों के विरुद्ध किसी भी अपराधी/अपराधियों द्वारा की जा रही यौन हिंसा व राजकीय दमन के खिलाफ हैं.

संपर्क                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  www.wssnet.org                                                                                                                                                       againstsexualviolence@gmail.com

 

End Political Impunity to Rapists (WSS Press Release)

We strongly condemn the recent incidents of rape and sexual violence in the country: the rape of an 8-year old girl in Kathua, Jammu, of a 15-year old in Unnao, UP, of a tea-shop owner as well as 15 year old girl in Meghalaya, of an 11-year old girl in Surat, Gujarat, a 15-year old in Faridabad whose corpse was continually raped, another 11-year old girl in Panipat and closer home and even more recently, the rape of a four-month old child of balloon-sellers in Indore, MP while there is an outrage against rape in the country. We also unequivocally condemn the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 which seeks to amend among other things the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (2012) by sanctioning the death penalty in cases of rape of minor girls.

A two day national meeting of Women Against Sexual Violence and Sexual Repression (WSS)  was held in Indore on 21-22 of April, and attended by members from Telangana, Karnataka, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Women against Sexual Violence and State repression (WSS) concluded:

There has been an uproar about some of these incidents, and a wave of protests have swept across the country. Amidst this much-needed outrage against rape, there have also been calls for capital punishment for the perpetrators of these crimes. We, as WSS, do not in any way support the death penalty as a form of punishment.

On the 25th of January 2017, a day before Republic Day, police from eight thanas carried out a massive raid in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh with the intention to nab people with pending warrants against them – all of whom were members of the Bhil community, a tribe historically stigmatized as criminals. During this raid, four women were raped including one pregnant woman, and two minor girls were molested. The accounts of these women were chillingly similar to the testimonies of tribal women from Bastar, in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh. In the last three years over 50 women have been raped and sexually assaulted by members of the police and security forces in the mineral rich lands of south Chhattisgarh, as they “comb” the forests to make way for large corporations to begin mining.

In the light of the above incidents where the State machinery, dominant caste and religious groups is committing acts of sexual violence, it is clear that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 is a complete sham. It not only sanctions the death penalty for the rape of minor girls but also changes a gender-neutral act i.e. which applied to both boys and girls, to one that talks of only “women under the age of 12”. Moreover, according to the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB) data of 2016, in 94.6% of the cases under POCSO and Section 376, the perpetrator(s) turned out to be a known person – he was either a close family member, a neighbour, or an acquaintance. In such a situation, it is extremely difficult for the survivor to report the crime, particularly when the survivor is a minor. In a report released by National Law School of India University, Bangalore, it was found that of the 667 POCSO judgements between 2013 and 2015, 67.5% of the victims turned hostile. The fact that victims are either silenced or forced to remain silent is a result of the deeply entrenched patriarchal structures within the family and society.

There is sufficient evidence to show that capital punishment has never served to act as a deterrent to the committing of crimes. Quite contrarily, it in fact deters people from reporting the crime. Also, not only does research indicate that the awarding of the death penalty is largely arbitrary and in almost all cases so far, it has only been awarded to accused from the most marginalised and oppressed sections of society. In the particular case of rape, as several people from the women’s movement and lawyers have argued, the death penalty in fact further endangers the life of the survivor as the severity of the punishment then becomes an incentive to end the survivors life.

The Justice Verma Committee set up in 2013 in response to the Nirbhaya case made strong recommendations against the death penalty, calling it “a regressive step in the field of sentencing and reformation.” Despite that, the Centre chose to exclude this recommendation in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013. Even with regards to POCSO, the problem really is one of lack of conviction and not one of the severity of punishment meted out. Instead of working on effective implementation of the existing act, the BJP has hurriedly pushed forward the ordinance without consulting with people working on child rights and cases of child sexual abuse. By talking about death, the government has conveniently shifted attention from the legislators who have supported and perpetrated these crimes. Instead, by pandering to popular sentiment orchestrated by the media, they seek to gain political mileage from such heinous acts of violence. Masqueraded as concern about growing sexual violence against children, what the amendment actually does is perpetuate the hyper-masculine regime of the BJP – where justice in cases of sexual violence becomes an act of revenge in a sense, with the “honour” of India’s children and women being avenged by the tough manhood of the nation. At the same time, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 proposes a punishment of only 2 years in cases of rape against transgender persons, as opposed to the 7-year imprisonment in the case of rape against women. By bringing in such amendments in quick succession the state is seeking to undermine the citizenship rights of sexual minorities, once again cashing in on popular prejudices.

It is also ironic that Madhya Pradesh, the state which leads the country in the number of rapes, was the one to initiate the demand for the death penalty for child-rapists.

We do not see these as isolated incidents of violence, but as part of a larger reign of terror unleashed upon the most marginalised and vulnerable sections of our society. Inevitably then, it is the bodies of women that become the battlefields on which this violence is played out. Whether in the name of religion in the case of Kathua, where rape is used as a political weapon by Hindu nationalists to displace and dislodge Bakarwal, a marginalised Muslim tribal community, or in the case of Unnao, where the accused, who is a BJP MLA is protected with the impunity for belonging to the ruling party, in each of these incidents, we believe that the State is deeply complicit in these acts of extreme violence.

WSS demands the withdrawal of the sanction of the death penalty by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 and calls upon progressive individuals and groups in civil society to stand in support of victims and survivors ensuring that at the very least legal processes are followed and existing laws are implemented.

Indore

23.4.2018                                           

 Ajitha, Shalini, Rinchin, Nisha

               National Conveners, Women Against Sexual Violence and Sexual Repression (WSS), wssnet.org

WSS Statement On The Tragic Cost Of Delay In Rape Investigations

January 23, 2018

 

The suicide of the minor dalit girl in Kunduli of Koraput district in Odisha  on 22 January is a moment of reckoning for everyone fighting against the heinous crime of violence against women. She had accused four security personnel of gang rape on October 10, 2017. Very typical of incidence of sexual violence where the accused happen to be police, army or security forces, this incident of sexual assault too went through the usual round of inordinate delays and denial of gang rape. The suicide of the young victim who was very keen to pursue her studies but was never able to get out of the raging controversy and heightened media publicity is a bitter reminder of the continued impunity of rapists in uniform, and of the brazen collusion of the state in denying justice to those who, like this young girl, refuse to remain silent.

Getting justice for survivors of sexual assault has always been uphill in this misogynist and patriarchal society. It becomes even tougher when the state machinery itself puts formidable barriers to protect the accused. In this case, the Odisha government and district administration did exactly that.

Let us have a look at the series of events that went against the complaint of the girl.

The Human Rights Cell of the government on November 7 ruled out the possibility of gang rape due to lack of evidence based on the medical report in their possession. After 17 days of the incident she was kept in the district child welfare committee (CWC).
The girl had repeatedly expressed her distress at not being believed to journalists and others who visited her in the hospital. There was no action taken to identify the culprits from her description or the fact that the accused were in uniform. Instead the  police picked up four boys from the same village for interrogation who were beaten up too. The police had also forcefully taken one of them for a lie detection test to an undisclosed location in Bhubaneswar.

 The DGP had listed the matter under the red-flag category and initial statements by the police even blamed the Maoists.

 The demand for withdrawal of security forces by local organizations and the community involved went completely unheeded.

The denial of gang rape by the police and administration in the absence of a thorough enquiry and the long delays accompanied by constant media publicity deepened the distress and anxiety of the family and the community. One can only imagine what it can do to a young girl.

The girl first attempted suicide on November 18, 2017 when she swallowed an overdose of iron tablets and was rushed to SCB Medical College hospital in Cuttack. Her mother made a complaint of forceful detention and she was finally discharged from the hospital on November 27. If there has been no gang rape, there was absolutely no need for the police and administration to confine her to the hospital under heavy security.
The Chief Minister ordered a probe by a district judge on November 8. The judicial commission was constituted on January 6.  The enquiry was under way.
In end December the girl once again went on record saying that she was being bribed by senior police personnel to withdraw her case. That perhaps was her last public statement. Her suicide note is in the hands of the police as media reports suggest.

WSS expresses deep grief at the death of the girl and stands in solidarity with her friends, family and community. It is indeed the cruellest of times and the cruellest of societies where a 16-year old puts an end to the ordeal by using her own scarf to hang herself and end the fiasco of seeking justice. Even as we write this statement we cannot do away with the foremost thought on our minds – who is responsible for this suicide?

 Ø  WSS demands that the Odisha government follows the investigation to the end and punishes the guilty. We also demand stringent punishment be meted to all those responsible for delaying the investigation process.

Ø  WSS demands that the Odisha government withdraws all security forces from the area. Women and girls are never safe in such areas. The deployment of security forces and army by no way implies de facto impunity to rape at will. 

 Ø  WSS appeals to all democratic and progressive forces in Odisha and elsewhere to strengthen the struggle for a society free of sexual violence. Let’s work towards a society where those violated do not have to choose the noose in future but are able to live with dignity and with courage. Sexual violence is not only a women’s issue. The culpability of a patriarchal culture where sexual violence is the everyday norm involves entire society at large.

Ranjana Padhi, Pramodini Pradhan, Sudha Bhardwaj, Kalyani Menon,Shobha Raghavan,Rinchin, Madhuri Krishnaswamy and Manasi Pingle

For Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) is a non funded grassroots effort started in November 2009, to put an end to the violence being perpetrated upon our bodies and societies. We are a nationwide network of women from diverse political and social movements comprising of women’s organizations, mass organizations, civil liberty organizations, student and youth organizations, mass movements and individuals. We unequivocally condemn state repression and sexual violence on our women and girls by any perpetrator(s).

wssnet.org // againstsexualviolence@gmail.com