Law Against Rape and Prevention of Rape

Law Against Rape:-

The Indian law prior to the Nirbhaya Incident took into account only acts of penile-vaginal intercourse within the definition of rape and forcible acts of penetration of vagina, mouth, urethra or anus through penis or an inanimate object did not fall within the definition of rape. Many rapists were not prosecuted because there was no law to punish such acts. In 2013, the definition was expanded to consider rape as any acts like penetration by penis, or any other object or any part of body to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a woman or making her to do so with another person or applying of mouth to sexual organs without the consent or will of the woman constitutes the offence of rape.

Section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Indian law lays down certain provisions for medical examination of the accused. Section 164A of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the medical examination of the victim.

The revised statutes of 2013 Indian law, in section 376A, mandates minimum punishment in certain cases. For instance, if the sexual assault inflicts an injury which causes death or causes the victim to be in a persistent vegetative state, then the convicted rapist must be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of at least twenty years and up to the remainder of the natural life or with a death penalty. As well, in May 2013, the Supreme Court of India held that the two-finger test on a rape victim violates her right to privacy, and asked the Delhi government to provide better medical procedures to confirm sexual assault.

The Indian Penal Code, Section 377, is the only section that criminalizes all acts of non-consensual carnal intercourse, ncluding male-on-male rape. This section penalizes both consensual and forced sodomywith 10 years minimum to life imprisonment. The Delhi HC stated that Section 377 of Indian Penal Code will continue to govern non-consensual penile, non-vaginal sex and penile non-vaginal sex involving minors. The section can be evoked to punish sodomites, pedophiles and zoophiles.

The rape definition in Section 375 of Indian Penal Code does not include rape in which males are the victims. The Indian government in 2012 decided to change the definition of “rape” as forcible penetration to include male victims, but was criticized on the grounds that this would further harm the interests of female rape victims.

Prevention of Rape:-

On the Street

  • Travel in well-lit, well-travelled areas.
  • If possible, walk in pairs.
  • Walk facing traffic.
  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Walk assertively and maintain a sharp awareness of your surroundings.
  • If you sense you are being followed, immediately cross to the opposite side of the street and head for the nearest open business or occupied dwelling.

In a Social Situation

  • When first meeting a new friend, exchange phone numbers, not addresses.
  • Keep someone apprised of your whereabouts when dating a man for the first time.
  • It is a good idea to refrain from going to bars and clubs alone. However, should you choose to do so, have your own transportation available, and use it.
  • Don’t allow alcohol or drugs to cloud your common sense.
  • If a man persists in asking for your phone number, and you feel it would cause a problem should you refuse, or give him a fake number.
  • Know what your personal social standards are and stick to them. Don’t allow your judgment to be overruled by an aggressive pursuer.

Passive Self Defense

  • Talking your way out of a situation.
  • Telling the rapist you’re pregnant, menstruating, or afflicted with a communicable disease can be an effective ploy.
  • Faking submission and waiting for an appropriate opportunity to make an escape.

Active Self Defense

  • If you choose to fight, fight effectively. A half-hearted attempt at resistance could be worse than no resistance at all.
  • Before initiating a physical defense, you should be aware of your capabilities – both physical and mental. If you cannot imagine yourself exerting whatever force necessary to ward off an attacker, then perhaps a more passive approach is more viable for you.
  • Have some idea of what you intend to do should you be attacked. If you have given prior thought to the matter, you will be better prepared to avoid debilitating panic.
  • Self-defense classes aimed at teaching everyday defensive maneuvers can help build confidence.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of your voice as an effective defensive tool. If you feel your voice may fail you when you need it most, practice screaming.

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