The media portrayal of rape in India and the impact of rape on the victims
It is very sad that when the media presents sexual assaults in India, they portray the woman as to blame for the act. Even though there are rape laws in India because it is a civilized society, the implementation of the laws is a problem. The present study sought to investigate how the media in India portrays the rape victims and the perpetrators as well. While perpetrators are presented as strangers, the truth is that most of the offenders are people known to the victim. A sample of respondents was chosen from New Delhi city that involved 6 rape survivors, 3 spouses of victims and 5 family members who had a rape victim in their lifetime. 2 Definition of smart devices 10 2. 3 History of smart devices 11 2.
1 Smartphones 11 2. 2 History of the tablets 13 2. 4 Usage of smart devices - Social media 14 2. 1 The psychological and emotional impact of rape on the victims 26 2. 2 Physical effects of rape 27 2. 3 Unwanted pregnancies 28 CHAPTER THREE 29 3. 0 RESEARCH AND FINDINGS 29 3. 1 Research methodology 29 3. 6 Sources of Data 33 3. 1 Primary data 33 3. 2 Secondary data 33 3. 7 Ethical considerations 33 3. 8 Data Analysis 33 3. 7 Analysis of the media representation of the Sikkimese Woman rape case 39 3. 1 Doubting the victim’s credibility 39 3. 2 Mention of ethnicity 40 3. 3 Mentioning of profession 40 3. 8 Analysis of the media representation of the New Delhi gang rape case 40 3. 0 INTRODUCTION 1. 1 General statement This research will look at rape in India, how the media portray rapes victims and perpetrators, the impact of rape and the consequences on the part of the victims. 2 Contextualizing background Rape has been ranked as the fourth most common injustice done to women in India.
The annual report from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of 2013 indicates that there were 24,923 cases of rape in India in the year 2012. Out of those cases, 24,470 were committed by people known to the victims (Roychowdhury, 2013). The media commonly focuses on violent crimes that they deem were committed by “dangerous strangers. ” The perpetrators are presented as men of color who are poor and the victims as white and middle class people. This kind of representation gives a distorted image of the reality of sex crimes. Most of the crimes are done in private places and by people known to the victim. The truth is that any woman of any social status can be raped. Sex crimes like rape are an issue that has received alto controversy and the media reflects his.
The social media in return has provided an avenue for the victims to open up about their experiences and has helped drive changes. On the other hand social media has been marked with online harassment and abuse. According to history talking about sexual topics and sexual parts was a taboo. This is why the history of talking about sexual violence and rape was also a taboo. Going back to India, the situation has gotten out of hand with so many rape cases being reported during the current government. There have been several cases where children of even four months have been raped and killed. This is very heartbreaking bearing in mind that so many promises have been made to remedy the situation, nothing has changed.
It is sad that some of the perpetrators are in the government or police officers who should be protecting the young girls. Rape has been used in India as a tool for asserting power and threaten the less fortunate a in the society. Most of the women who have been raped are young children and 95% of the perpetrators are either people known to them or family members. However, despite the high rate of rape cases, most of the perpetrators go scot free while the young girls and women remain tortured for the rest of their lives. Some of the victims have resulted to committing suicide. The sad part is that there is an underrepresentation of rape cases by the media. Worse still, these cases are not portrayed with the seriousness that they deserve.
One area that has brought controversy is how the media depicts the violence perpetrated on women and the stereotypes roles of men and women. Women are still depicted as a weaker gender and as gullible even in soaps and films. The media today has helped bring to light some of the cases of rape which has helped victims to receive justice. However, research reveals that violence against women is underrepresented by the media and at time the assailants depicted benevolently. Some of the media that reports cases of rape include newspapers, magazines, online news, televisions and radio news and social media. Even thought the term smartphone was not coined during those days, it is undisputable that the Simon suited to be called one because of the features it had.
It had many features and many applications including email, calendar, calculator, multiple on screen keyboards, world clock time among others. It could send and receive faxes. This device used the ROM-DOS which is a modification of the MS-DOS. During those days, it was not in the picture that a phone could personal the same function as a computer. This operating system continued to be used in phones until the last quarter of the year 2010. Microsoft Company had a vision to include the Windows version into mobile devices. For this reason, they developed a mobile phone with windows OS in 2000. However, no phones were released until 2002 making the Windows Mobile the most popular. It had a large market share in the US.
7 million iPhones (Arthur, 2012). This was almost thirteen percent of the whole market of smartphones. The first Android phone was launched in 2008 November. This was the G1. However, it had a limited capability of touch screen. There were however some exceptions like it had a screen and keyboard on the same plane. However, this guy had a vision. He could predict that if the device had a good touch screen technology, it was easy to away with the physical keyboard. Kay had a great vision during that times because it took close to forty years before a similar tablet that he had thought of came to the market. However, there were tablets that had earlier (Strickland, n. Apple then came in with the first tablet that was referred to as the Newton.
This tablet received both criticism and love from the public for a number of years. One of the major causes of ridicule is its hand-writing software. This was until Steve Jobs; the CEO of Apple came with the first iPad that made a revolution in the history of tablets. It became a product that consumers could not do without. Above all the car navigation devices can also be tracked like the pauses and stops. Today, most police departments have trained their staff on cybercrime and how to use digital information to get evidence on which the criminals are. They are given training on how they will handle digital evidence. They are taught on what to look for at the crime scenes.
Gone are the days when the force did not have any knowledge about cyber. Apart from the advantages of the social media on businesses, it can have a great disadvantage on businesses as well. These platforms offer an opportunity for businesses to interact with their consumers. It makes it possible for the consumers to give feedback about a business. Positive feedback can have a great advantage since people will build trust. If the feedback is negative it can spoil the reputation of the companies. 6 History of Rape in India The crisis of rape cases in India is not a new thing. Rape is a crime against humanity and an inhuman act against woman. Rape is one of those acts that are very common.
It is one of the most underreported crimes in the country. Rape in India is done by different perpetrators that have seen its classification. They put his body on the veranda. They blocked the roads and disconnect the telephone wires until “two platoons of police” came that people were controlled. This did not end there as more riots continued and police fired at the crowd leading to the deaths of 9 people and eighty more injured during the incidence. Another rape incidence that ignited hunger among women was the rape of a teenage girl by the name Mathura. This girl was kidnapped by many police officers in 1972, taken to the station and defiled. They wanted a retrial of the case. This was actually a new dawn for the feminist movement that had been formed in the ‘70s.
It started to expand. The coordination did not stay for long because of the broken links between cities. The greatest challenges that they faced included a lack of good and faster means of communication and limited funds to carry out such large operations. This type of rape is the one that dominates media coverage together with criminal justice prosecutions. In real rape, the offenders are mostly strangers. These strangers commit the sexual assaults in public places and in most scenarios, there is use of weapons. The offenders are mostly portrayed as criminals. They are also portrayed as poor, psychopaths and men of color. This media representation bias is a clear indication that rape is only committed by strangers. The stereotype about rape has created a lot of fear among women as many believe that they are more prone to rape by strangers.
The biased media representation of rape has led women to change their behavior. Most of these women have gone ahead to take measures that will protect them from stranger rape like avoiding being alone at night, avoidance of public transport and carrying of personal alarms (Gordon & Riger, 1991). The stranger rape has been highly publicized leading to social anxieties and tougher sentencing for the perpetrators (Innes, 2014). 8 Media representation of the rape victims Presentation of rape cases against women as newsworthy depends not only on whether it is real rape or simple rape but also on the social status of the abused women. Rape and sexual violence against women from dominant ethnic groups and those from the middle and high class are more likely to receive a greater coverage of the media compared to crimes against women from social groups that are marginalized.
Rape cases are described as either deserving or not deserving justice depending on the social status of the victims. The rape cases of victims who have a low social status in the community mostly do not receive media coverage at all. This has led to the portrayal of women from marginalized group and the sexual workers as “unrapable”. Women can also be judged to be vamps because of their behavior especially if they were abused when they were out drinking late. They could be viewed as such if they portray any behavior that is outside the societal expectation of a woman and their traditional roles (Benedict, 1992; Bumiller, 1998). The media treats the so called “vamps” by reviewing their bad history like alcohol history, drug use, sexual history and any other behavior that is likely to portray them as irresponsible.
Their actions which led to their assault are analyzed while the media trying to imply that they are to blame for the violence against them. The media does this by either implying that the victim provoked sexual violence by flirting with the perpetrator or wearing revealing clothes. These victims are seen innocent from such provocative actions and are seen as innocent. An example of a case of such a victim is the rape case of Jill Meagher. This woman was raped and murdered at Melbourne Australia in 2012. The case received extensive and sympathetic media coverage. Her position as a respectable married woman was emphasized. However, the use of social media has presented challenges in the issue of victim identification and naming of victims (Salter, 2013).
9 The myth that rape cases are false allegations and that victims are lying A distorted feature of the media in raping rape cases is the notion the dominant myth of the victims lying about rape. This is very common and in most cases the victims of acquaintance rape are portrayed to have misinterpreted their experiences with the perpetrator (Cuklanz, 1996; Gavey, 2005). Despite the fact that false allegations are very rare even in statistics, they are a common feature both in news and entertainment media. The stories about false allegations function as tales that are meant to create feelings of disbelief about stories of abuse of women and hinder them from talking about their experiences of sexual assault (Larcombe, 2002). The greatest percentage of rape perpetrators are people known to the victims.
If the man who is being accused of rape is viewed as “respectable”, the allegations against him will not be taken seriously especially if the victim is less respectable and comes from a low social status in the society (Benedict, 1992). An example is the case if William Kennedy Smith who was accused of raping Patricia Bowman at Palm Beach in Florida. He had met her at a media. Smith came from a prestigious family. The case was referred to as “sexual scandal” by the media. The victims were presented as having invited the assault or as women making false allegations for being rejected. According to Waterhouse- Watson (2013), the footballers possessed “narrative immunity. ” This was to mean that the high social status they held means that the story of the abused woman would not be believed no matter how many accusations she made against them.
10 Social media and the activism of rape cases However, the recent years have seen changes where a small number of sexual assault cases involving prominent men who are respectable have received media scrutiny and condemnation of the acts. This case received a similar social media outage as the Mexican case. The perpetrator was given a six-month sentence because the judge considered the “severe impact” of a longer sentence. The victim received sympathy again after she released her “Victim Impact Statement to the Buzzfeed news (Baker, 2016). ” Her letter was read on CNN and later in the House of Congress. There were communications from the perpetrator, his father and from Brock Tuner whose intention was to reduce his responsibility. However, some rape victims have been helped to stand on their feet, receive professional help that has helped them heal.
At times the rape involves physical violence that can injure the female reproductive system. At other times, the rape may not involve violence and the aftermath could be serious mental and psychological impact include isolation. Rape is a traumatic experience for women because of the fear for severe physical damage and death. At some time, the rape victims often involve in self blame, they become hopeless, and they criticize themselves and feel helpless. On the other hand, if they do not receive the support they want and treated in manner to suggest they are to blame for what happened, it is likely to increase their feelings of helplessness, guilt and shame. It can become a “secondary rape” because it will increase the trauma that the victim feels already (Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 1999).
The stigma that the rape victims experience from the public is far beyond imagination. It is like being raped over and over again. Stigma is much embedded especially in the American culture. Self-blame is one thing that complete stop the healing process or slow it. Among other effects is that the victims isolate themselves from family and friends. They always want to be alone. They may get angered by petty things or find it hard to trust a male partner. It could also lead to other complications like sleep disorder and eating disorders. CHAPTER THREE 3. 0 RESEARCH AND FINDINGS 3. 1 Research methodology 3. 1 Research approach This can be defined as the approach that was used in the study to solve the research problem. The research approach is of great importance since it helps the researcher to know the methods that they will use to collect data and analyze it (Best & Khan, 1998).
It is a research design that helps to understand the research problem by narrowing down to a specific population. 3 Target Population The target population of this study was Rape survivors from New Delhi India. The population of a study can be looked at as those people who have one or more feature that the researcher is interested in. These were chosen since they would best explain their experiences as survivors of rape. 4 Sample size and sampling procedure 3. In research, it is wise to use many methods of collecting data since a single method can lead to getting biased results. The use of multiple methods of data collections leads to the authenticity of the data collected. 1 Interviews An interview involves the respondents answering questions asked by the interviewer with a purpose.
Interviews are a method that is widely used in qualitative research. They allow the researcher to understand the point of view of the respondent. The study focused on the media portrayal of the New Delhi Gang Rape case and the Sikkimese woman who was raped by a doctor. The media in India has often been criticized for underreporting rape cases. When the cases are reported, they victim is often blamed. Most times, the rape cases are just written as a paragraph and not in the front page of the newspapers but rather inside the paper. However, the New Delhi rape case went viral and ignited public outrage. The data was gathered through the use of interviews and questionnaires. 2 Secondary data This is second hand information that is gathered through secondary materials.
The study also used secondary data which was gathered through the newspapers and other print media documentaries that analyzed rape cases. 7 Ethical considerations When conducting any type of research, it is of paramount importance to consider the ethics of the research. This particular study is about a very sensitive issue and hence the participants need to be handled with care. 0 Introduction The findings of this research seek to understand how the media treats and analyze the rape cases in India, how the victims and the perpetrators are portrayed in print and visual media. It also sought to understand how the police handled the victims and whether they acted immediately after the report of an assault. The interviews, questionnaires and documents reviewed were used to gather this information.
1 Main characteristics of the respondents The study had a total of 14 respondents. Among the 14 respondents, 6 were rape survivors, 3 were spouses of rape victims and the remaining 5 were a family member to rape victims. 6%) were males and 9 (64. 4%) were women. The rape survivors were a total 0f 6 (43%), spouses of rape victims were 3 (21. 4%), and the family members of rape victims/survivors were a total of 5 (35. 2 Portrayal of victims as to blame by the media TABLE 3. 4 Spouse 3 21. 4 0 0 Family Member 3 21. 4 Total 9 64. 8 The table above indicates that 64. 2% of the respondents experienced refusal to report rape cases while 35. 1 Family Member 3 21. 3 Total 10 71. 5 According to the table above, 71. 5% of all the respondents reported that the sexual assaults were committed by someone known to them while 28. 5% of the respondents reported the crime was committed by a stranger.
3 Total 7 50 7 50 According to the table above, 50% reported that the sexual assault cases became viral through social media while the remaining 50% reported that the case became popular through other media. Of the rape survivors, 21. 4% indicated that the sexual assault became through social media while 21. 4% indicate that it became popular through other media. 2% of the spouses indicated that the sexual assault of their partners became viral through social media while 14. 2 reported that the victim was reluctant to seek medical help while the remaining two reported that the victim had no injuries. 2 Suicidal thoughts and withdrawn behavior At most all the participants reported having withdrawn behavior. The spouses reported that the victim developed withdrawn behavior and isolated themselves from their husbands. Only 1 spouse reported that the partner attempted suicide.
The family members as well reported that the victim isolated themselves from the rest of the family and spent most of the time in solitude. There were two reports from India Today and Zee News websites that were exactly the same. They said that the woman who was allegedly raped had stayed at the man’s place of residence for a night during which he established a physical relationship with her which was consensual. India Today is the most selling Zee News was a TV channel that was most watched in India. The Tribune which is also a newspaper quoted the words of the investigating police officer that, “After a while, the woman allegedly agreed somehow and they indulged in a physical relationship.
” Another publication, The Telegraph mentioned that the accused had contacted a pimp who dealt with supplying girls and was given the woman. Reference was made to the victims profession 21 times. It was highlighted that the victim was an employee of a beauty parlor. 8 Analysis of the media representation of the New Delhi gang rape case 3. 1 Framing of the rape case as a pathetic act The print media analyzed all presented the case as pathetic because of the titles used in the various papers and the words used to describe the act. The act was popularly known as the Capital gang rape and Delhi Shame. 3 Discussion Form the above findings; it is evident that the media portrayal of the rape cases is that which is biased.
Most media pushes the blame on the rape victim leaving them to feel helpless and worthless. Most of the respondents of the study revealed that when their cases were reported by the media, they were portrayed to blame for the act. Some of the most things that were stressed was the negligent behavior of the victim like drinking at night or their code of dressing which could have led to the occurrence of rape. Other times the respondents reported the media to have failed to believe their story and only termed the act as an “allegation”. This ignited more and more citizens to demonstrate on the streets which saw justice prevail for the girl even though she was long dead when they acted.
It portrayed rape as a brutal act. This is unlike what used to happen in the past rape cases. Most times rape was presented as an allegation just like in the rape case of the Sikkim woman. The Sikkim woman rape case presents the stressing of unimportant issues when reporting rape cases and leaving out important details. CHAPTER FOUR 4. 0 CASE STUDIES 4. 1 Case Study 1: The New Delhi gang rape case This is a story of a young 23-year old woman who was raped in a moving bus. The young woman was a student and was raped on 16th December 2012. She was from seeing a film when she boarded a bus in New Delhi with a male friend. It took one year before the rapists were convicted.
The New Delhi case gained popularity not only in India but all over the world which increased media reporting about the issue. The media presented the case with remorseful headlines which made people to keep demonstrating for justice to prevail and led to the revision of India’s rape laws. This case is among the few rape cases in India that have received widespread media coverage. However, one of the reasons the case went viral was the fact that the woman was from the middle class family. She was raped and murdered. Her body was mutilated. This was a ‘ghastly act’ similar to the New Delhi rape case. The difference is that the woman came from a low social status in the society.
The act happened after the New Delhi rape of 2012. CHAPTER FIVE 5. 0 CONCLUSION 5. 1 Summary of findings The purpose of the study was to help understand how the media portrayed the rape cases in India and the impact on the victims of rape. The findings from the study help us understand the experiences of the rape victims in India. The family members and spouses of the victims that were in the study also helped understand the issue from another perspective. However, the findings only help to understanding of how the media treats the rape victims. Future research could focus on most cities in the country to get a clear picture. References Aljazeera (2018). India's Supreme Court upholds death sentence in Delhi rape case. [Online].
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