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    Posted January 3, 2013 by
    Bangalore, India
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    Rape and Sexual Violence: An Indian girl's perspective


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     NGO consultant meeravijayan from Bangalore, India, felt compelled to speak out about the tragic gang rape case in Delhi following her own experiences of daily harassment. She says such cases, sadly, happen every day -- but it was the horrific nature of the crime and the brazenness of the alleged perpetrators that frightened so many people. "This was a normal girl on a normal bus which people take every day -- if you're not safe there, then are you safe anywhere?" she says. Despite calls in many parts of India for harsher punishments for those who carry out such crimes, she feels it's a change in attitudes and culture that will truly bring about change. "There is a sexist mindset, politicans have made silly remarks about women and how they should wear modest clothes, not go to parties... if they make the laws how will it benefit us?" she says. "People have to change the way they think."

    meeravijayan was featured on the January 2013 "iReport for CNN" program on CNN International.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    Everyone has been asking - How can something so horrific happen in the national capital? The problem with a society where violence is so inherent is that no one reconises it. No one understands it. This is one of the reasons why rape is still not seen as a human rights violation in India. And what happens when it's not seen as a serious human rights violation? This. So why has the Delhi rape case affected me? Because I have faced all of it - I have been hooted at, called names and judged for being ambitious. This girl - it could have been me, it could have been any of my friends, and I know, no one would have taken us seriously.


    Sexual violence is more than just physical abuse, it's damaging on so many levels; mentally, emotionally and pscyhologically. Yet, the conviction rate when it comes to rape in India is dismal. Most politicans have serious rape charges against them, most policemen view rape victims as perpetrators and often commit the crime themselves - so what chance do millions of ordinary girls like me have when it comes to finding justice? I feel angry and I think I have the right to be, not just at the way the system works but at leaders in the parliament who have been defending themselves instead of taking women's rights seriously. In the long run, I hope things change, but then again - I don't know how long that will be.

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