SPEAKING ABOUT SEX FELONS CAN HELP FIGHT SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

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There are numerous silent secrets, and unheard stories buried deep inside our hearts only to feel the suffocation and sufferings till we breathe last. And many of those secrets are of sexual harassment who don’t find words to come out but mostly no courage to let it go. This is the reality not only in India, not only with women but throughout the globe and across mankind. Sexual abuse is an issue that is pervasive as well as damaging on the same hand.

According to UN statistics compiled from government, it says that almost 250,000 cases of rape or attempt to rape are recorded by police annually. Out of them, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India, which counts miss happenings every day! Whereas on the other hand, in the U.S., 1 in 71 men had been raped or suffered an attempt rape within their entire lifetime. In India, 18% of Indian adult men surveyed reported being coerced or forced to have sex. Then we have child rape cases, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. Almost 7,200 minors, 1.6 in 100,000 minors are raped each year in India. Recent estimates suggest that rape conception happens between 25,000 and 32,000 times each year in the U.S. Then, we have additional issues such as slut-shaming and victim-blaming. Women, men, children, infants, older people, and even animals have been subject to rape each day. On July 29, 2018, a pregnant goat was gang-raped by eight men in Haryana. On July 17, 2018, a 35-year-old man was arrested for having sex with the dog.

Whereas on January 17, 2018, a man had unnatural sex with three cows in Vadodra. So you see, the scenario never ends. Over the past few years, females across the globe have recounted stories of harassment and sexual assault by posting sketch to social media with the hashtag #MeToo. The same goes for men #HimToo movement. Unfortunately, the rape crime always and continuously has a single culprit- HUMAN. Have you ever seen animals raping humans? Bizarre right? Now think about humans abusing animals? That’s the difference. But what drives people to rape? A crucial factor in understanding rape as if you don’t understand the perpetrators, you are not going to understand sexual violence.

How people become sex offenders?

People who rape tend to start young, when in high school or college, likely with someone they already know. Some of these men commit one or two sexual assaults and then stop. Others, no one can yet say what portion maintain this behavior or even pick up the pace. According to Madhumita Pandey, a clinical psychologist, who has surveyed more than 150 rapists states, that very few of them show remorse or even a little concern towards their actions. Most convicted rapists presented themselves as non-repentant and attempted to justify their crimes. This was contrary to her survey with murderers, who show remorse for their actions and admit how they have damaged lives. In another report, it was reported that rape happens because of two significant issues- unresolved long term anger towards women or great difficulty in establishing relationships. Many of the offenders, especially sex offenders, tend to make them feel superior in front of other people, and that’s because they rape- to show their power over the victim. This usually happens because they suffered violence in childhood and felt vulnerable back then. It’s not a case with everyone but of course for many. On the other hand, it could be an unresolved issue with their mothers, ex or anyone, and that anger and frustration are coming out in the way of offending. It only counts for male offenders. Another factor that drives people to rape can be a sexual disorder, where they are addicted to pornography and sex. These people find it extremely difficult not to rape, but mostly, these people are the ones who don’t consider themselves as a sex offender and may do victim-blaming. So you see rape happens due to various reasons, and offenders come from a diverse background.

Talking about victims and let victims talk is a good deal in fighting such crimes. But to stop rape overall, we need to start talking about the felons and their stories. Multiple rehab centers in the country are indeed for these people where they can have their therapy sessions. To avoid repeat perpetrators, this step is extremely crucial. Generally, when these people come out of prison, they tend to rape again because even in prison, they are surrounded by several sex offenders who don’t show an ounce of remorse. Just like we have helpline numbers for suicidal people, there should be a similar one for the sex offenders. So that whenever they feel like repeating their crime, there is always someone where they can find help. Sex is an addiction to the majority of rapists, and this addiction can be healed with therapy and attention.

Because sex offending is highly stigmatized, we need to start speaking up about it openly. Even if you are a survivor or a remorseful rapist- you need to start speaking up. Because unless and until we let people share their experiences, we cannot find a permanent full stop to this heinous crime.

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