Safety is an illusion for women. Irrespective of the city, place or time, the devil can strike anywhere. And it’s not pessimism, for the facts speak for themselves. As the nation discusses and debates the brutal gang-rape of a young woman in a moving bus in Delhi, we ask, “Where are our women safe?”
Are we safe on the road?
No, not at all. This is where women are most vulnerable. The list of rapes that happened on Delhi’s roads is a fairly long one, perhaps endless, but let us remind you about just three of them:
In 2005, a Delhi University student was walking home after buying food from a roadside eatery along with a friend. She was abducted and raped in a moving car by four men near Dhaula Kuan.
In 2010, a 30-year-old BPO employee from Mizoram was picked up by four drunk men near Dhaula Kuan and gang-raped for over 40 minutes in a moving vehicle.
Earlier this month, a 24-year-old woman from Rwanda was assaulted, robbed and gang-raped while she was returning to her residence in Timarpur.
Are we safe in our office cabs?
One of the first instances of a rape that involved an office cab happened in Bangalore and it rattled the entire country. In December 2005, a BPO employee in Bangalore, was picked up by her office cab. The driver took her to a deserted place where he raped her and slit her throat. The incident had rattled the city. After five long years, the cab driver was sentenced to ‘life imprisonment till death’ by a Bangalore court in 2010.
In 2007, another BPO employee working in Pune was raped and murdered by the driver of the company’s pick-up car. The driver had reportedly picked her up at 10 p.m. for her night shift.
Are we safe outside our own your house?
No, not even there. In July 2005, a 23-year-old woman was abducted from outside her home in Mayapuri, West Delhi, and gang-raped inside a moving car. The woman and two others had come out of the house to relieve themselves when she was forced into the car. She was later dumped at Saraswati Vihar.
A call centre employee , another call centre employee was dropped at her home in Vasant Vihar at 4.15 a.m. She was just three metres from her home when the gang spotted her. She was talking on the phone. On the pretext of seeking directions, they called her near their the car and pulled took her in. They drove her to an ATM and forced her to withdraw Rs.20,000. They went to another ATM and withdrew Rs.5,000. The killers smothered her to death and dumped her body by the roadside.
Are we safe in school?
It was unthinkable that a A barbaric act such as this could was unthinkable to happen in at the abode of education and values, but it does, to our shock and dismay. A six-year-old girl was sexually abused for nearly 15 days by the driver and conductor of her school bus in Ghaziabad.
Worset still was when a school student was raped in her own school in Indirapuram — and that too by one of the male teachers. The school in question is a ‘world school’.
While we are yet to come to terms with the horrendous act, a school owner, amidst all this frenzy, raped a three-year-old girl in the same playschool she used to attend go to. He is alleged to be the owner of the school.
Are we safe inside our at our home?
What an irony! The place a woman is supposed to feel safest has been reduced to just a notion.
A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for raping his 16-year-old cousin in whose house he has been living for the last four years. According to the police, Ramesh, a school bus driver, had raped the minor daughter of his maternal uncle when her parents were at had gone to work while and the brothers were in had gone to school.
A 28-year-old man raped his niece when she was alone at home. The victim’s parents had gone to attend a marriage. He fled from the spot after threatening her with dire consequences.
A 40-year-old woman has lodged a complaint with the police in Welcome Colony stating that three men barged into her house and raped her. The victim was made to consume some sedatives before she was violated.
Are we safe in the parking lot?
In 2003, a Swiss diplomat was abducted and raped in her own car at from the Siri Fort complex parking lot by two men. Nine years later, the rapist is still at large. Do we need to say anything more?
Are we safe in a metro station?
Two boys aged 12 and 15 years allegedly molested a 24-year-old woman while she was looking for a cycle rickshaw outside the Uttam Nagar Metro station. They pulled her into the public toilet under the metro station building.