December 10, 2019
By Matters India Reporter
New Delhi, Dec 9, 2019: An ecumenical group of Christian women has condemned increasing incidents of violence against women in India and demanded making society safer for them.
“In this dreadful situation of unbridled gender violence and sexual crimes, we demand a country that is safe and peaceful for Indian women and girls,” the Indian Christian Women Movement said in a press release on December 9.
The appalling manner in which women are subjected to horrendous sexual violence in India seems to be proving over and over again that this country is the most unsafe place for women in the world, the movement regrets.
The perilous conditions in which Indian women live and the dismal record of steps taken to create a society where women and children are secure, explains why sexual crimes have become an everyday event.
What is very evident is the increasing climate of impunity against perpetrators; submerged in the deafening silence of those in power, the movement noted.
The movement listed recent incidents of attacks on women.
- The horrific gang rape of a young woman veterinarian in Hyderabad
• A 6-year-old child sexually brutalized and killed in Tonk, Rajasthan
• An eleventh-grade girl abducted and gang raped in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu
• An Adivasi law student abducted and gang-raped by a group of armed men in Ranchi
• The murder of the 17-year-old girl who had been raped a little over a year ago in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. She suffered 90 per cent burns.
“But it remains to be seen whether the five accused (including a village headman’s son) will now be booked for murder, given the dismal experience of a year ago. Indeed this is not a nation for women,” the press release said.
The movement joins the voices of protest against the increasing acts of violence against women.
At the same time, the movement expressed outrage over the “police encounter” killing of the four men accused of raping the veterinary doctor of Hyderabad.
“We assert that crimes against women and children need to be tackled through law, enforcement and not in an arbitrary manner,” the press release said.
The women came down heavily on the failure of Churches in India to respond to crimes against women.
“The ways in which the Churches have responded to incidents of abuse and even rape in their own environs, underlines the apathy of the church authorities to speak out against rape and violence against women,” the movement said.
The Christian women said they saw the situation with “deep concern and want to respond with courage” and announced their decision to join with “all people of goodwill” to urge the government, the law makers, the politicians, the judiciary and the church leadership to respond, with a sense of urgency.
“We insist on a code of accountability and responsibility for law enforcement agencies,” the movement demanded.