The anatomy of a rapist

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December 19th, 2012 Sreelatha Menon

There has been calls for death penalty for rapists in the Delhi gang rape case. There is also a demand for enforcing law and order, having more police men posted and so on. And it is a fact that no girl is safe walking on the streets of Delhi or surrounding areas.

But will additional cops on the streets alone help? It would certainly help to   create a fear of crime. And since the offenders in this case are slum dwellers, it would enhance a feeling of suspicion of the poor, thus widening further the already wide gulf between the rich and poor.

Crime is not just a result of lack of policing but also the accumulated result of social and psychological causes that could have been prevented.  The lack of respect for other persons, the victims in this case, could be the result of the offenders being deprived of respect and attention themselves.

What can provide the necessary emotional and mental nourishment in young men and women to prevent them from behaving like children from a dysfunctional family, or a dysfunctional society in this case?

The society in which the offenders in the recent case of Delhi gang rape live is brutalized, dysfunctional. The urban slums they live in is symbolic of their rejection from society, from all the glitter that surrounds them and also from the feeling of security, of importance, dignity and honour.

In the tiny one room houses, children grow up seeing  sexual abuse all around them. There has been countless surveys and studies in Delhi alone showing the extent of the problem of childhood sexual abuse.  The other problems of society, equally prevalent in rich and poor, (like domestic violence-verbal and physical, alcoholism, ) exhibit themselves more openly and more frequently in slums where little separates one hutment from the other, making it an unbroken fabric of violence , bitterness and insensibility.

In a milieu where life holds little value and honour, men are likely to exhibit a similar disrespect for fellow beings, men or women, besides a hatred and bitterness coming out of their own sense of deprivation.

Having a police post in bus stands and in every slum would help. But what would also help is a move by Government to reach out to each and every young man, reach out to every migrant settling down in the squalid homes  in and around Delhi. The reach out programme should be a continuous one that hand holds people in finding housing, access to health care, and financial saving and credit programmes. It could also direct them to skilling programmes and other benefits that are available. It should provide round the clock crèches in every community of say 1000 people, so that every child is taken care of..

These creches could be community centres which should also have counselors who could be  students  , or volunteers , who could visit every family at least once a month and hear out their problems.

Even if there are no free grains or cash transfers or ration cards or any of the fancy subsidies the Government prides itself in doling out, if the Government along with the civil society which is feeling  outraged over the rape, could provide basic hand holding and showed some sign of compassion and concern to the poor in Delhi, maybe such aberrations of behavior would be seen less often.

8 Votes | Average: 2.25 out of 58 Votes | Average: 2.25 out of 58 Votes | Average: 2.25 out of 58 Votes | Average: 2.25 out of 58 Votes | Average: 2.25 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 2.25 out of 5)
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