February 13, 2018
Image credit : Illustrative Image
Sexual violence is our ‘elephant in the room’ as a nation. But when national dailies have more news of gender based violence than anything else, it is time to address that elephant.
The growing number of crimes, involving sexual assaults on girls and women, has reached horrifying levels and the insecurity women have to face in public spaces has increased in recent years. And not surprisingly, most cases are not reported by victims because of various reasons such as family pressures, the manner of the police, the unreasonably long process and application of law; and the resulting consequences thereof. But in instances where women have reported sexual violence, there have been significant victories in the past decade, after a long wait. We have all been trying to find the reasons behind the growing number of cases but when an expert articulates it for us, we have a clear understanding of it. Counselling Psychologist Swathi Priya. P lists down some probable reasons for sexual violence against women. Read on..
What could be the reason for sexual violence against women?
● Our society has been male dominant for centuries. In our ancient cultures men indulging in Polygamy was quite normal. Most of our Kings in scriptures and history had many wives and sexual partners. So some people still have the conception that men can have sex out of their committed relationship.
● Many men do have a misconception that they have authority over women’s body that could be a major reason why they indulge in marital rape. In some cultures the older generation had conveyed such messages to the younger generation and thereby even women are made to believe that they should oblige to the sexual needs of men in a relationship.
● Today the youngsters are taught that the first priority in life should be given to make money. So most families and schools, groom children in a way that they focus only on scoring marks and to settle down financially, in a short time span. Such children lag behind in learning and applying moral values.
● Cinema has the power to influence kids and youth to a great extent. The sad part is that most movies portray women as glamour dolls dressed up in a obscene manner. This would kindle the sexual urges of men.
● All most all leading stores sell branded women’s clothing which is revealing, tight or curvy. This would fantasise and trigger onlookers. In a Country like India, where pre- marital sex is unacceptable, men might end up letting their sexual frustrations in wrong channels.
● Most families don’t teach adolescents to handle their physiological and psychological changes they undergo due to maturation. So today’s youth (both genders) struggle to manage their sexual frustrations due to lack of sex education.
● Alcohol abuse is yet another reason. Alcohol reduces a person’s inhibitions; making things such as sexual assault seem acceptable. Even those who normal wouldn’t force sex on a woman may do so under the influence of alcohol.
● Mental illness which had not been addressed by a health care professional, can also be a reason for sexual abuse.
● Last but not least, most offenders are confident that they can escape punishment using the loop holes in our legal judiciary.
As adults (parents, teachers and counsellors), we do have a significant role to play in grooming children and teach them moral values and life skills We need to serve them as good role models.
Healthy grooming paves way to construct a happy and safe society with healthy individuals.
The author of the column is Swathi Priya. P , Counselling Psychologist
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own