Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experiences sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitization regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at news from 15th April to 21st April 2018.
1. College authorities hush a sexual assault victim
A sophomore from James Madison university was allegedly sexually assaulted during a study trip abroad while in an intoxicated state. After a discussion among the panel of three administrators from the university, the alleged accused was found ‘not responsible’ for the event. Further, the victim expressed a feeling of being hushed and quietened by the college authorities with a reasoning of violating the university policies. Her freedom of speech was also questioned and curbed by the college when she tried to share her ordeal with reporters and the world through social media. Consequentially, she has decided to appeal the panel’s decision and it is said to be reconsidered shortly.
2. A 39-year old slapped with charges of sexual assault three times in two weeks
An Ajax man, aged 39, was charged with sexually assaulting three women within two weeks on the subway line of Yonge university. In two cases, occurring on April 4th and 16th, respectively, the man sat a seat away from a woman and assaulted her while leaning over his coat kept between them. On April 13th, he sat beside a woman and sexually assaulted her. He appeared before the law on 19th morning.
3. Three cases reported in a day: Assam turning unsafe for females?
Three sexual violence cases were reported within a day in different regions of Assam. A 39-year old security guard was arrested on the charge of sexually harassing a 12-year old boy, who was playing in the building in the evening, as per the allegations provided by the child’s family. The convict was booked under section 377 of the IPC and under section 6 of the POCSO Act.
Another case sprung from a four-year long friendship hailing from social media with the 25-year old convict from Mumbai and the victim to lower Assam. The man used a video recording to blackmail the woman, after which she filed a complaint. The man has, consequently, been booked under section 417, 376, 298A, 507, and 387 of IPC, and section 67A of IT Act.
In the third case, a 22-year old man living in a rented house was charged for sexually assaulting a 14-year old when she was alone in her house. The complaint was filed by her parents. The case has been lodged under section 4 of POCSO Act.
4. Ex-Church of England deputy headmaster who sexually abused six young boys has been jailed.
An 82-year old former headmaster of a boys boarding school was charged with a jail sentence of six years and seven months for sexually abusing six young boys. One of the victims expressed ‘fear’ of the master that was quite prevalent among the pupils. He initially denied the allegations, but later admitted to being guilty. However, he expressed no regret or remorse for the sinful acts.
5. Prolonged wait for justice for a 7-year old sexual assault victim
A 46 year old man was charged for sexually assaulting a seven year old. He faced a life sentence for the same. However, his trial has been delayed by a month by the prosecution. Even though he denies the allegations, if the verdict goes against him, he will face life imprisonment with a probability of parole post 35 years.
This article was first published on Safecity by Vrishti Kapoor, as a part of the blogging team.