A few days ago, a 9-year old girl from Cavite who went missing last Christmas day was found dead under a house just 10 minutes from where she lived. Four men, one a 15-year old boy, were said to have raped her. From reports, a family friend had taken her to a neighbor’s place. The child, trusting the person’s identity, went along without resistance. When they got to the place, 3 other men joined them. Intoxicated with alcohol, they took turns raping the helpless 9-year old girl. They gagged her and kept her locked under the house.
She was found 12 days later, already dead for 3 days. She was apparently left under the house where she died of hunger. What is so sickening is the news that the suspects attended the child’s burial and even carried her coffin…they were her neighbors. How should I react to that? The men denied doing it, and in the eyes of the law, they are innocent until proven guilty, right? Whether they did it or not, the fact is the child was gang-raped by men who had no conscience. They should be meted punishment from full force of the law.
Today, just weeks after the gang-rape in Delhi of a medical student inside a bus, news that another gang-rape was committed came out. The story was almost the same. The girl went on board a bus to visit her in-laws and 6 men including the conductor took turns in raping her inside the bus before dumping her near the place where she was headed. In a very patriarchal society like India and with the general police reaction to rape cases like it was the victim’s fault, the spate of gang-rape in India seem to taunt and mock people who want change in society on how women are treated.
Do women have to take things into their own hands to protect themselves and end violence against women? Does there have to be "gulabi gangs" everywhere so they can look out for themselves because the authorities could not or would not? Because they and many men in society say women don’t dress appropriately, go home after 10pm, go to bars or even just want an education? When do all the discrimination and inequality end? It gets so frustrating sometimes that for every successful story on women, the horror stories that plague other women’s lives can be so much more. In this day and age, it’s still shocking to hear that there are actually men…and women who see girls as non-essentials who can be aborted, raped or killed because of their sex and discarded like objects. That after they have been abused and violated, they’re accused of being at fault.
This cannot go on…so much anarchy, disrespect for women and utter disregard for human life. The fight has to go on to make a change and only in unity and speaking in one voice can that fight be heard. Alone we can do little, yet still be a voice for others who have none, but TOGETHER we can make our voices cry out in unison for the world to listen to and make it a better and safer place to live in. We can be that voice for those who are helpless and suffer in silence.