Violence Against Women in India by Sheela Saravanan

Violence against women is partly a result of gender relations that assumes men to be
superior to women. Given the subordinate status of women, much of gender violence is
considered normal and enjoys social sanction. Manifestations of violence include
physical aggression, such as blows of varying intensity, burns, attempted hanging, sexual
abuse and rape, psychological violence through insults, humiliation, coercion, blackmail,
economic or emotional threats, and control over speech and actions. In extreme, but not
unknown cases, death is the result. (Adriana, 1996) These expressions of violence take
place in a man-woman relationship within the family, state and society. Usually,
domestic aggression towards women and girls, due to various reasons remain hidden.

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Violence against women: Blame our prejudices, NOT the victim

Recent violence against women, such as the aggravated sexual assault on a young student in Guwahati in Assam, has deeply shocked the public conscience. Yet it’s only one small component of pervasive violence against women — the fastest rising crime among all cognisable offences registered under the Indian Penal Code.

The latest available statistics compiled by the home ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau show that between 1953 and 2011, the incidence of rape rose by 873 per cent, or three times faster than all cognisable crimes put together, and three-and-a-half times faster than murder.

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The Story of Bella & her Divorce by Ink Blots

Bella was a year older to me, tiny and thin in frame and the frivolous kinds for whom a joke meant a million dollars than a pair of silver studded earrings. She had lost her father early in life with her mother evenhandedly raising her with a twin brother. We shared our pink frock and hopscotch stories as neighbours and there was not a single day when i didnt meet her. We often caught up after homework and made sure to stay in touch even after our destinations divulged.

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VAWM in the news : 23 October 2012

1. Bidadi gang rape case: Accused thought victims were rich dancers

BANGALORE: The culprits who allegedly gang-raped three women after kidnapping them from their residence in Bidadi last week chose their victims under the mistaken impression that they were cash-flush cabaret dancers, Bangalore rural police said.

The 8-9 gangsters swooped down on the house in Jagajyothi Layout, Kengeri, early Friday with an intention to steal.

“We know you are cabaret dancers and earn lakhs of rupees every day. Hand over all the cash,” police quoted one of the gangsters as telling the women. Eight women and four men were staying in the house. One of the women was pregnant, while the others worked as bar girls in a bar and restaurant in Majestic. The men were bouncers assigned for them.

2. Crimes against women: Khaps, women panel meeting on Oct 28

ROHTAK: It would be for the first time that Haryana khap panchayats and National Commission for Women (NCW) would join hands to find a solution to deal with growing crime against Women in the state. Khap leader Om Prakash Dhankar told TOI on Monday that NCW chairperson Mamata Sharma has agreed to participate in a meeting on the issue.

Sharma would be the chief guest in the meeting organized by the Rohtak 84 khap (comprising 84 villages) in Chhotu Ram Dharamshala in Rohtak on October 28, said Dhankar. Dhankar, who is also coordinator of the meeting, said the NCW agreed to share platform after they were convinced that khap panchayats were not against women.

3. Girls with cellphones invite trouble, says BSP MP

LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party Rajya Sabha MP Rajpal Singh Saini landed in a controversy on Monday after he told a public meeting in Muzaffarnagar district that women and children, particularly young girls, who use mobile phones only invite trouble for themselves.

“Recently, I met a father of a girl who was kidnapped. I came to know that the father had given mobile phone to his daughter, and I told him that giving cell phones to girls only invites trouble,” Saini was shown on TV as saying. He said his mother, wife, sister and daughter never used mobiles and they were doing just fine. Further along the patriarchal vein, he said men can let kids, girls and women use their phones but only for important conversations.

4. Actor Jackie Shroff to lead Bihar campaign against female feticide

PATNA: The Bihar government has roped in Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff to lead a campaign against female feticide in the state.

Shroff, who met health minister Ashwini Choubey has agreed to lead the campaign against killing of girl child through the state government’s scheme ‘Bitiya Bacho Andolan’ (save the girl child movement) launched in May last year.

Shroff promised to create awareness among people to fight the social menace, Choubey said.

The minister said the actor who met him on Sunday shared his concern against the social malady and readily accepted the request to be a part of the programme.

5. Faridkot girl rescued, abductor held in Goa

JALANDHAR/CHANDIGARH: After messing up the kidnapping case for almost a month during which the cops failed to act, revealed the identity of the minor girl, made false claims that she had eloped with the accused, Punjab police finally on Sunday arrested the abductor Nishan Singh and rescued the 15-year-old victim from a Goa beach.

However, it seemed Punjab police still have a soft corner for the accused as an attempt was made to defend Nishan, who was also booked for rape, by senior cops at a press conference in Jalandhar.

While making the announcement of arrest at Jalandhar on Sunday evening, Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini claimed that the girl had “gone away” with Nishan in June and that she was the one who had called up the accused and asked him to “take her away” later in September.

Narrating the sequence of events, Saini said the girl and Nishan “went away” in June and had started living as a couple at Kharar in Mohali after taking a room on rent.

6. Banasthali University hid facts, locked up molestation victims

JAIPUR: Rajasthan’s State Women Commission has indicted the Banasthali University management for suppressing facts about the molestation of two girls in the University campus in September leading to demonstrations by the students which paralyzed the University for almost a week.

The commission submitted its probe report to chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday and urged him to direct the police to take appropriate action. The report suggests that majority of the top positions in Banasthali University are held by members of a single family and they tried to suppress news of the incident to save their skin. The role of the police is also under the scanner.

The report alleged that the Banasthali administration hid information, misrepresented facts and tampered with evidence. “Initially, they refused to share information on the unrest. Our team had to use judicial powers to access information, which shows the dark face of the University,” said Lad Kumari Jain, chairman of the State Women Commission in a press conference on Sunday. The report also revealed that between August and September 2012 around 213 girls left the University in the middle of a session, indicating the need of a thorough probe.

7. Professor held for vulgar tweets against singer

CHENNAI: A 37-year-old associate professor of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Taramani was arrested on Monday for posting vulgar comments on microblogging site Twitter against singer Chinmayee Sriprada.

In her complaint to the police commissioner last week, Chinmayee had identified a few men, including NIFT professor Saravana Kumar Perumal, as posting comments in the names of rajanleaks, senthilchn, Asharavkay, losongelesram, vivajilal and thyirvadai. The men, who tweet/blog as a group in Tamil, posted phone numbers inviting her to contact them, said an investigating officer. Police said a particular comment which appeared offensive was posted in the name of Sharankay, the Twitter handle of Saravana Kumar Perumal of Nanganallur.

Call data records of his mobile phone and broadband connection showed he was on Twitter when the tweets about the singer and her mother were posted. Based on his confession, police registered a case under Sections 66 and 66A of the Information Technology Act. His mobile phone was seized. Perumal’s was produced before the chief metropolitan magistrate in Egmore and remanded in judicial custody.

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India, Delhi: how sexual violence against women is linked to water and sanitation

Girls under ten being have been raped while on their way to use a public toilet, say women living in Delhi’s slums. In one slum, boys hid in toilet cubicles at night waiting to rape those who entered. These are some of the incidents mentioned in a recent briefing note [1] based on research supported by WaterAid and the DFID-funded SHARE (Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity).

The link between a lack of access to water and sanitation facilities and sexual violence against women is not well known and to date has received insufficient attention. The briefing note highlights this link within the context of urban slums in Delhi, and suggests how this problem can be addressed.

Read more here.

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For Victims and Survivors of Marital Rape by Indian Homemaker

A TV channel wants to get in touch with victims and survivors of Marital Rape and nonconsensual sex (like in this post). Please email me if you, or someone you know might be interested.

Anonymous participants are also welcome.

Read more here.

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Inspired by Violence by Dipali Taneja

Eina Ahluwalia grew up in a secure home with loving parents, who always treated her and her younger sibling with respect, from earliest childhood. The world outside the home, however, is not very respectful to young girls and women, and Eina found her blood boiling when walking down the street could mean a man brushing past her, or eyeing her breasts, or just touching her when/where he could.  However, this rage had to find expression, and it did so in an unusual medium: the medium of jewellery.

Read more here.

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Not Silence but Verse: A Call for Poetry.

In the run up to the 2012 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence, Prajnya announces ‘Not Silence but Verse: A Call for Poetry’. Send us Send us original, powerful, evocative poems (Haikus or Tankas only!) in English, Hindi or Tamil on the theme‘No Violence, No Silence’ .

All poems that meet the basic criteria (including relevance to the theme) will be featured on a dedicated blog. In addition, a selection of poems will be published in specially-made Origami Poetry books, which we will print and distribute (in limited edition!). Finally, some Chennai-based poets will be invited to read their work at a public reading to be held in Chennai on 29 November.

Take a look at the rules (not that many!) and criteria here:

The last date to send us your poems is 10 November 2012. Please email us at

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Representation of Violence Against Women in Indian Print Media : A Comparative Analysis by Rupsayar Das

Abstract: This study aims at investigating print news discourses on a relatively recent act of violence perpetrated on women in India, which evoked a nation-wide non-violent protest, popularly known as „The Pink Chaddi‟ Campaign, 2009. We considered some of the top English national and local daily newspapers (online editions) for analyses; using advanced computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) called Leximancer v3.5. We aimed to explore the frames in the news discourse through intra-media analyses, and perform comparative inter-media analyses between national- and local newspaper corpora. The „concept maps‟ produced by Leximancer v3.5, in the unsupervised-mode, threw light on the nature of the news discourse on the Campaign. We found slight evidence that some of the newspapers tried to downplay the VAW and took a detour towards political blame-game. These results somewhat reflected the results of Caputi et al. (1992), O‟Connor (2002) and Wetschanow (2003).

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Honour killing: Victim’s father, brother arrested

Ambala : The district police on Monday claimed to have arrested the father and an elder brother of Komal, a 19-year-old girl who fell prey to an alleged honour killing at Laha village of Naraingarh last Wednesday.

Komal’s father Narender Singh and brother Paramjeet were arrested from an undisclosed location in Kurukshetra, police said. They added that the local court on Monday ordered two-day police remand for the two accused.

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