Sexual Assault Rising In NYC, But Here’s Where It’s Worse

November 23, 2015 at 7:30 pm

In New York City, more than 1,000 rapes are reported annually, and it has increased five percent over the last year. While these statistics are alarming, in India the numbers are staggering. The government there reports a rape occurs there every 22 minutes.

Filmmaker Leslee Udwin says this is a reflection of patriarchal societies all around the world.

“We live in a world in which men are taught that women and girls are of lesser value to them,” Udwin told MetroFocus Contributor Mary Alice Williams. “This is the world over, this is the mentality. We’re all programmed. Women are programmed, too.”

She examines the issue in the new Independent Lens documentary “India’s Daughter,” through one of the most horrific cases of rape in India. In 2012, a medical student was gang-raped and murdered on a bus in New Delhi.

Udwin, who claims rapes in India are grossly underreported, says the night of the attack, the victim went out to see “Life Of Pi” with a male companion.

“This becomes significant because she is blamed for going out with a male friend who’s neither her husband nor her brother after dark,” she said.

The young woman and her friend boarded a bus and she was attacked and raped by multiple men.

In the film, Former Chief Justice and member of Rape Review Committee Leila Seth explains the violence in detail.

“The rape was extremely brutal,” Seth said. “And it’s something very unusual to find that you not only rape the girl, but you put in an iron rod and take out her entrails. I mean this is something I can’t understand. What kind of human beings are these who do something like that?”

Although this specific attack is extremely vicious, Udwin says the victimization of women isn’t limited to India.

“Look at the figures in the United States and be horrified,” Udwin said. “One in four girls on college campuses is raped. So what are we talking about? Are we that far removed from India? Absolutely not.”

The documentary “India’s Daughter,” which is banned in India, is streaming for free on the Independent Lens website through Feb. 4, 2016.


MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.


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