Monday, December 31, 2012

Putting the New Delhi rape case into a little context

The gruesome news of the rape and subsequent death of a young woman in New Delhi has led to protests on the streets of cities across India as citizens demand action from the authorities. The sheer vileness of the attack, of the abuse and of the final dumping of her body as if it were without value of any kind, has touched the collective heart of the people.

I caught a recent report of the story on BBC News the other day, and in it was the statistic that a rape is recorded in New Delhi every fourteen hours, a fact likely to produce a sense of disgust in the minds of viewers. And there is no doubt that the figure is much higher than we would like it to be, especially given the likelihood that the number of recorded rapes is likely to be a fraction of the actual number that take place.

However, for those who have drawn the conclusion that such events are the preserve of less- developed parts of the planet, one needs a reminder that this is far from being so.

Delhi has a population of about seven million, according to the report, approximately that of London. There were 635 recorded cases of rape in Delhi in 2011/12. In London, 3,334 cases were recorded.

So, whilst we mourn the tragic death of a young woman in a Singaporean hospital, let us not forget that, every three hours, someone in London is being violated with little likelihood that their attacker(s) will be punished. It is time that we did more as a society to change that...

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