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Arundhati Roy On India's Rape Culture

SHORT TAKES
03 Jan 2013, 05:49:17 PM | Buzz

Sunil Khilnani in The Times of India: If we truly want to learn from the Delhi gang rape, we will dig to the roots of the problem

...in a recent piece published in Bloomberg News, journalist Lisa Beyer drew attention to an extraordinary set of figures. According to UN statistics, Sweden has 63 rapes annually per 1,00,000 people, the UK 29, the US 27. India has 1.8. Such statistics make clear that India's rape problem begins well before the stage of sentencing and punishment. The vast majority of rape crimes against women are not reported.

Sometimes victims are held back by fear, shame, or mistrust of a police force whose own personnel are too often involved in such crimes themselves — sometimes, against the very victims who seek their intervention and protection. Other times, the police ask victims' families for money in return for filing a charge. And of the small percentage of rape charges that are registered, barely more than a quarter of the perpetrators are actually convicted.

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