Should a woman marry her rapist?
KALPANA SHARMA , Sep 15, 2010, 12.21pm IST
When a rapist offers to marry the victim, one would think it's the perfect solution. But isn't this victimization of the victim all over again?
You normally don't expect a girl to marry her rapist but in a recent case in West Delhi, a woman wanted to marry the guy who allegedly raped her. This is obviously not a one off case and definitely brings to limelight the existence of an insensitive society that doesn't think twice before putting a girl up for trial, once again.
This March, K G Balakrishnan, the then Chief Justice of India had said, "A woman should be allowed to have a baby out of rape and/or marry the man and drop the rape charge if she so wishes." But most don't call the step justified. Kavita, an NGO worker stresses on the point. "The girl has already been wronged once. And to add to the misery, her predator neatly escapes the consequences of the crime by simply marrying the girl. You never know if this practice catches on, rapists might resort to such techniques on any girl he fancies. This is just not done."
The rapist also takes advantage of the social stigma that no man will accept a woman who has been raped. A source from National Commission of Women reveals, "We have bailed out some small town girls in the past. We make sure that mindless community panchayat decisions are challenged. But in some cases it gets very difficult when the girl's family and the girl herself agree to marry the rapist." But the girl should be given her due, and allowed to make a free decision without having to succumb to the social attitudes.
Psychologist Seema Hingoranny agrees, "A woman should never marry her rapist. Rape is a big trauma and the victim requires intensive therapy to get out of it. Some people get married because of their insecurity and the stigma that no one will marry them. But these girls barely forgive the rapist." She goes on to add, "Also, you cannot completely ignore the psychological status of the man. Someone who can commit such a heinous crime has something incorrect in his character and such marriages can never work. It could lead to more violence. I am totally against this idea. Instead of getting her married to the rapist, family and the government should think of ways to rehabilitate her."
Some have issues with its TV potrayal too. Says an activist, "Indian television has replicated these real life incidents into reel life. What they don't understand is that this could lead to serious repurcussions. TV channels should ensure that they are not propogating the act by showing victims marrying their rapists."
The aftermarks of the incident that are so deeply etched in the girl's mind never let her get over the trauma. And the dilution of punishment for the rapist should not be tolerated!