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08 Mar 1990

Socially and judiciously rape victim is deemed an accomplice to the crime. The contradiction between formal condemnation of rape and and simultaneous belief in the complicity of the victim arises from social attitude towards female sexuality and chastity. Female chastity is valued and is to be protected.Hence the condemnation of assault on woman's chastity. But rape means that chastity is "lost irrevocably". This loss, no matter how involuntary, is neverthless viewed as a moral and social transgression of dsired ideals of inviolate female chastity. The raped woman thus becomes simultaneously victim and transgressor.

This report is on custodial rape which differs in many respects from rape in general. The social power that men have over women gets intensified with the legally sanctioned authority and power of policemen. The intimidative power of the police, especially over poor people, enables them to isolate the woman. The more the isolation the lesser the chances of resistance, a fact used as evidence of her consent later in the court. And the prosecution and evidence in custodial rape cases is more prone to manipulation.

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