Friday, January 4, 2013

Rape - Address Cause not Symptoms

Between December 16th and January 4th, 501 calls for harassment and 64 calls for rape were recorded by the Delhi Police in India, but just 4 were followed by inquiries. Throughout India, of  the 256,329 violent crimes recorded last year, 228,650 were against women. Huffington Post also describes India as having an institutionalized rape culture, with a number of examples to prove it.

After the brutal rape and murder of a woman in India, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the country has to crack down on crimes against women with an "iron hand," and has called a meeting of law enforcement officials from around India to consider how to improve protection for women. He said that each police station will now have women officers at all times.

Police protection of women is obviously important. But in order for the crimes to stop, focus must also be on the source of the rapes - the men. The same is true for the United States, where almost all of our talk on rape-prevention concerns females – how females can defend themselves and lower their chances of being raped by males.

In any hierarchy, it's easier to set up a program that focuses on a lower group, because it's so difficult to hold the top group accountable for the detrimental effects of their actions on lower groups. This is the case with almost all discussions of rape prevention.

In reality, we are only addressing the symptoms and not the cause of the rapes when we focus on the females. The only way to solve the rape problem is for males to stop raping females. Rape will not stop until men stop being violent, and the men in the community stop accepting other men's violence.

The situation of only providing protection to women is analogous to a community who puts it resources, year after year, into cleaning up the river from factory pollutants, but doesn't make the polluting company stop dumping pollutants in the river.