Crimes against women have become a common phenomena in present day context. Rape, molestation and abuse are incidents that have established a place in the day-to-day happenings of the local newspaper and have even begun to be viewed as inevitable though still very much undesirable.
The recently noted rapid increase in the rate of crimes against minor girls however is something that cannot be ignored. Numerous cases of minors raped and abused in the region rings an alarm bell that needs for Society at large to heed –
As per the Meghalaya Police Records in the month of June 2016 alone, the following cases have been reported which total to an alarming 10 cases.
23 June 2016 – On Jun. 23 midnight, one Phainingstar Pariong (26 yrs) raped his fifteen year old sister at Shohphria, Myriaw village (WKH).
20 June 2016 – One woman lodged a complaint that in the month of Nov. 2015, four persons, viz., (1) Klaiwos Shiangbai (42 yrs), (2) Abinus Thabah (48 yrs), (3) Kesarlin L. Marshillong and (4) Wan Khardewsaw (28 yrs) raped her nine year old daughter at Riangdo (WKH).On Jun. 19, the accused persons surrendered themselves at Nongstoin PS.
23 June 2016 – On Jun. 23 evening, one minor boy of 16 yrs raped one four year old girl at Khliehiongriang village (WJH).
09 June 2016 – On Jun. 9 around 4 pm, one Milon Marak raped a six year old girl at Ansalipara village (NGH)
04 June 2016 – Smt. Saritha G Momin lodged a complaint that on Jun. 4 around 10.30 am, one John Ch Marak raped a nine year old girl in his house at Ranggira village (WGH). Reportedly, the accused had raped her several times since the year 2015, forced her to consume some pills / alcohol and also threatened her with dire consequences, if she disclosed the matter to her relatives.
04 June 2016 – On Jun. 4 at about 3.30 am, one Treilang Myrsing (37 yrs) raped a fifteen year old minor girl at Umbathiang village under Nongpoh PS (RB). Police arrested the accused and investigation is on.
01 June 2016 – A complaint was lodged, that on December 2015, one Robert Ch Sangma, an employee of AH&V Department, Mukdangra (WGH) raped a thirteen year old girl in his quarter and threatened her with dire consequences. The victim was pregnant when this incident came to light in June.
03 June 2016– A lady of lower Sunny Hills, Tura (WGH) lodged a complaint that on June 3, one Alphin D Sangma took her 7 year old daughter to a jungle between Lower Sunny Hills and Sangsanggre (WGH) where he tried to sexually assault her. But when the girl resisted, the accused tied her hand and abandoned her in the jungle.
05 June 2016– A t 12 noon, one Dharvendra Mahata attempted to molest a 13-year-old at Nongrah, Shillong.
These incidents have been reported in Meghalaya alone but it cannot be denied that similar cases have been inflicting other parts of the region as well. It may be noted that most cases of minors raped and assaulted go unreported as the minor victims are either too scared to speak out due to threats from their tormentors or because their parents do not wish to attract the shame and the stigma attached to these crimes.
Close analysis of these crimes indicate that most of the victims were raped by their own relatives or family members. Speaking to our reporter, Shillong Superintendent of Police, S Kharkhrang said, “Since most of these cases take place within the four walls of the victim’s houses, it sometimes becomes difficult to keep an eye on these incidents”.
If keeping an eye on minors at all times to ensure their safety is not possible, maybe a solution could lie in our in depth understanding of “why do sex offenders do what they do?”. In a report done by a national paper which focused on why people become sex offenders, one perpetrator confessed that, “My sex offending was more about power and control rather than anything else and my whole attitude to intimacy, to relationships, wasn’t normal.”
Dr Jackie Craissati, Clinical Director and Head of Forensic Psychology at Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust says that when sex offenders leave prison, we need to make sure the community is safe when they return because imprisonment does not address let alone resolve these deep rooted issues.
Common drivers of sex offence:
Dominic Williams is a Senior Co-ordinator at Circles, a service for convicted sex offenders returning to the community notes that rapists tend to have very low self-worth. They usually have one of two, if not both, of the following major issues:
A deep unresolved anger towards women
Usually rooted in childhood experiences such as domestic violence. It’s counter-intuitive, but boys often blame their mothers for allowing domestic violence to happen. Their offending is about power, more than sexual gratification, and comes from a desire to humiliate the entire gender. This is sometimes called “anger rape”. They’re often the ones who will murder women as well as rape them.
Great difficulty establishing relationships
Due to having been abused, neglected or abandoned as children. They often suffer from bottomless need, coupled with the fear that if you love someone they’ll leave you. These men will abuse women in an act of distorted intimacy. They’ll say they just wanted to hold her, and you have to point out they had of pair of scissors to her throat.
Taking cognizance of the need to eradicate this problem at a deeper level, Shillong SP S Kharkhrang informed that a counselling centre has been initiated at the Sadar Police Station in Shillong since last week and he hope that this will address the problem at a much deeper level.
After all, this is not a one man’s problem, it is an epidemic that has plagued the society at large and hence, it is only by addressing this problem at a deeper level can some concrete solutions be found. We are glad to know that Meghalaya Polic has taken initiative.
By Shweta Raj Kanwar
(The views reflected in this piece are that of the author and need not necessarily be that of TNT-The Northeast Today)