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This woman was not afraid to seek justice

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Silent sufferers: Women rarely come out in the open about abuse
Silent sufferers: Women rarely come out in the open about abuse

Divya Gandhi

Roshni is trying to overcome the frightening memories of her rape a year ago

BANGALORE: With her husband’s passing away on Saturday, Roshni S. (name changed) knows she must return to work soon if she has to support her four young children, she says, even as she overcomes the frightening memories of her rape a year ago.

But one factor gives her strength and hope: her assaulters are behind bars, thanks to a prompt FIR she filed and an unusually prompt response by the police.

Roshni (32) was attacked by three men while she walked home after her evening shift at a BPO company in K.R. Puram where she worked in housekeeping.

Two of the men held her down while a third raped her. “They appeared out of nowhere. They also beat me so hard I thought they would kill me. I was left bleeding,” she recalled. So bad were her injuries, she had to be admitted to hospital for four days.

Although numbed by the horrific attack, Roshni spotted her assaulters at an auto stand later that night and screamed for help. “People gathered around and my relatives helped me file an FIR,” she explains.

The police arrested the assailants the very evening — one of whom is serving time in jail, and the other two in the State Home for Boys.

Justice in time

Unlike many other victims of sexual abuse and rape, Roshni was able to get justice — and get justice in time.

Her case is truly unusual, believes K.S. Vimala of Janawadi Mahila Sanghatane.

“It is not often that women come forward to file police complaint about sexual abuse, and even when they do, rarely are the perpetrators brought to book,” she says.

“Women fear that society will see them not as victims of abuse but instead turn around and question their character. But it is only when women come out and report abuse that society will be sent a message. Filing a police complaint is not just about bringing the abusers to justice, but also about changing societal perceptions,” Ms. Vimala added.

The incident still haunts Roshni, often preventing her from going out of her home.

“But I need to work, and want to work. I am all that my children have now that my husband is no more. I want to educate them,” said Roshni. Her husband was a daily wage labourer.

“It is so important to have the support of society and it is the duty of the police to ensure that women are safe,” she said.

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