Writer Sara Joseph opens her mind to The Hindu on problems faced by women.
Delayed justice is justice denied especially in the case of rape victims. The Supreme Court verdict is a relief but we should realise that the life of the Suryanelli rape victim remains shattered years after the incident. In a sense, society and the judiciary also figure in the list of accused for denying her justice for the last several years. I have heard several youngsters passing lewd comments on girls by often addressing them as ‘Suryanelli girl’. And this attitude seems to have not changed in our society. Even though thousands came out in to the streets to protest against the brutal rape of the 23-year-old woman in New Delhi, we also meet youngsters who look down upon such victims. How can society be so cruel to the victims? We all know that courts need evidence and witnesses to deliver judgements. But look at the series of cases in front of us in which the accused had escaped from the clutches of law by using their money power and influence. How pitiful it is to see people accused in such incidents coming back to the limelight as Union and State Ministers? Even in the Soumya’s case many, including the lawyer who appeared for the accused, had tried to derail the legal process. We should realise that often law fails to protect the rape victims. In rape cases, the judiciary should understand that the victim herself is the sole witness to the brutality. Rape is an attack that inflicts injury on the body and mind of the victim. I feel the proposed new law to check atrocities against women would help in ensuring punishment to the accused in the ice-cream sex scandal, Kaviyoor, Kilirur and Abhaya cases.
(as told to G. Krishnakumar)