Women’s group hails Verma panel recommendations

K Ajitha, women’s rights activist, has called for societal intervention in helping the victims of crimes against women to lead a normal life.

Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, she said the society as a whole should come forward to create the right conditions for the rape victims to lead a normal life after the tragedy. Under the current circumstances, the victims are forced into a life of invisible incarceration on account of the societal attitude. “Unless we cultivate an attitude which respects the woman, this situation would continue,” she said.

She hailed the recommendations of the Justice J. S. Verma Committee as a major step in the right direction, but pointed out that the real challenge before the administration was to show the political will to get such recommendations implemented so that they could act as a deterrent for the prospective criminals.

Referring to gender bias existing in the judiciary Ms. Ajitha stressed the need for the judiciary to look at the issue from the side of the victims in the crimes against women.

Even in the media, more publicity is received by the criminals since the victims are forced to lead a life of anonymity, she pointed out.

Elizabeth Philip, of Sahaja, the feminist group, said in spite of the changed situation created by the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee and the attitude of the Supreme Court, the ground realities have become more complex for the victims of crimes against women. The case of the Suryanelli victim was a case in focus in this regard, she said.

“There are still unknown spaces within the society from where the criminals continue to garner support,” she said and added that it was up to the society to take up the responsibility to come forward and support the victim.

It can no longer be left to the woman alone to manage the issue, she said.