Confidentiality of rape victim

Yet again a girl has been raped in the so-called ‘safe’ city, Bombay, alias Mumbai! Guess if some incident occurs frequently it means a few things. Firstly, there is something drastically lacking in the very systems & structures – here its primarily secuirty, law & order; more so self-control & respect for a girls / women. It also means the safety of women in the city has fallen down drastically. The secuirty i mean the whole city. Who is secure? Can anyone of us claim to be? I really don’t think so.

It also means that there is some sort of sanction or sniggering approval for such violent acts. Because so many are silent & tight lipped when such incidents occur. Somehow the hypocrisy of the Indian society gets thoroughly exposed. Yes, because the men folk can roam around late at night, they can be arrogant, forceful & flaunt their sexuality. But if women even remotely show similar attitude, they are termed as ‘fast’ women who deserve the consequences. The very faith they have in the system is destroyed, rather crushed to bits…

Last week an American Indian student from a social sciences college went out with her female friend for drinks. The whole episode till here & thereafter has many a loophole. Was there any breach of trust between these two? Why did this girl go out with ‘friends’ of her female friends. so on so forth is now coming out. I have a question. Do we not trust our own friends? Do we distruct every person we meet? I travel alone, i interact with people and its interesting what one can see around. I don’t drink with strangers except close friends, this is a rule. On tour or travel i restrict myself to only a glass of beer. Plus a BIG lesson, NO mixing drinks…However this has been soemthing i have been able to stick with come what may. Sometimes like in this case of Ms R things didn’t go her way.

She couldn’t resist the forceful men. They forced her to drink, offered her LSD marijuana ciggie, etc…a lot is being said of what she could have done. I know one thing i can imagine is she could have just shouted out for help. Would she have got it i can’t vouch, it would’ve at least put some pressure on the horny males with her. Poor child, a lot of mixes happened & eventually she landed in a huge personal, emotional & physcial trauma – she was raped.

But as if this wasn’t enough. She had the courage to go to her hostel officials & tell them. They went to the hospital, police station, underwent all tests, etc. She filed a ‘First Information Report.’ Now this is supposed to be CONFIDENTIAL. Interestingly, the media in India has become very ‘investigative.’ The editors more pushy. so according to what my colleagues told me many news organisations & people had been given by the police the copies of the FIR.

The FIR is a real weapon for the victim. That is also confidential a document. Also if a journalist gets the copy of an FIR, one is NOT supposed to reporduce it verbatim. Here we had an over-excited tabloid newspaper male reporter who went ahead & published all details. Every action that the poor child could remember was described like a D grade sex film! Readers were subjected to the Gory details…instead of publishing the excerpts from this FIR, the whole darn paper was reproduced.

It was the most disgusting & repulsive piece of journalism i have read or seen in modern times. I sincerely believe such journalists should be castrated or flogged…Not for once did the bloody editor of this tabloid stop to think she is a woman & how she is encroaching upon a vulnerable, already shattered girl’s privacy. Every word was published as if the reporter & the editor had relished & enjoyed every word that was printed on their paper. It nauseated some of us.

I did write to the network for working women journalists, asking us to file a suit against this third rate paper & its editor, especially since she was a woman. Pathetic is the situation in India i feel. To what extent will journalists go to get a story. In Our paper the bosses acutally pulled up the crime team for ‘missing’ out on this story. I want to ask do editors forget they too are humans. We all have women in our households. Would we allow something to be written abt any woman or girl we know in our private life? We owuld mover every stone on the way to protect that girl’s relative’s identity.

Why then do we not follow the same rule? Why do we not do things we’d expect others to follow? The paper failed in its very commitment to send the message of the incident to the masses, or readers. Instead it tantillised the readers, it made them curious and more so it perpetuated false perceptions of girls & women. This piece of tabloid journalism actually made people talk ill about the victim. Except for her name they had gone to town with every detail that the honest victim had recorded with the police.

It definitely brings us to the roles of ; living & suffering in a patriarchial society. The boys are being made out to be ‘poor’ boys, ‘misled inccocents’ “who did not rape but only gave the apartment to rapists.” Even to know a rapist is a scary thought. How can men go beyond to help him. It is scary…The police first need to go inside the jail. Plus write ups about them need to come out more openly. The editor got her due. The women’s organisations from the city went to that newspaper’s office & they actually lodged an FIR with the azad maidan police.

We all suppoted this protest. I do hope this makes the editors, journalists realise the true meaning of ‘confidentiality & it breach.’ i only hope people use the same parametres for others that they will like to use for themselves.

One thought on “Confidentiality of rape victim”

  1. I sooooo agree with wat u said abt that FIR report being published! very happy to knw that some action seems to hv been taken.

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