The Latest Indian Gang Rape Victim Was A 45-Year-Old Mother Of Four

tragedyThere’s another new tragedy in India with a third high-profile gang rape, increasing the pressure for a deep and thoughtful look into rape culture in that country. A 45-year-old mother of four was found hanged from a mango tree by her own sari this weekend. Police confirmed that there was evidence of sexual assault carried out by more than one person.

Though there is little information on the case, a local official confirmed that the woman was traveling from West Bengal to New Delhi. She got off her train between the two stations, but officials aren’t sure why.

This newest horror comes after two widely publicized attacks on women riding buses. The first, which killed 23-year-old student Jyoti Singh Pandey sparked international outrage and protests throughout the country. The police and government’s slow response to Pandey’s brutal gang rape by six men, an attack that took the young woman’s life, has been sharply criticized. Now the case against Pandey’s attackers has been fast-tracked.

In the second gang rape, a 29-year-old woman was attacked by seven men and then dropped back off in her village. Six of her alleged attackers have been arrested and police are still looking for the last. There is no word yet whether there are suspects for the latest case.

India is a huge country with millions of people. Some, like commenters over at Bloomberg News, are saying that the media is acting like all Indian men are depraved monsters. Obviously, that’s just not true. There are horrible people in every society, just as there are good and decent people everywhere. Awful crimes like gang rape happen here in America as well.

But the sad fact of the matter is that rape is astonishingly, soul-crushingly, inexcusably common in India. According to government figures, a woman there is raped every 20 minutes. Even more upsetting, despite the increasing number of sexual assault attacks, the number of convictions for these crimes is going down.

There must be a demand for justice for these victims. The next generation of young people must be raised to know that women, their bodies and their choices deserve respect. That is the only way to honor these women, who suffered horrors that most of us cannot imagine. That is the only way to bring a small amount of justice to the families of these women, families that now include four children who will grow up without a mother.

(Photo: Chepko Danil Vitalevich/Shutterstock)

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