The recent decision of Union Cabinet to bring in stringent ordinance to ensure lengthy jail terms and even death penalty for sex offenders convicted for raping girls below the age of 12 years has been unanimously welcomed throughout the country. The move comes against the backdrop of the alleged rape and murder of a girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and alleged rape of a girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district. The rape of a minor in Gujarat’s Surat district had also outraged the nation. In all three cases the victims were minor. Following these incidents there was huge demand for making rape laws more stringent.
However simply enacting strict law will not put an end to rape incident. It might act as deterrent but is not the ultimate solution. The society as a whole should take strong stand against rape incident. Extending support to rapists, like recent Kathua incident, will only encourage them. Also formulating a new law as an answer for failure of implementation of existing laws is cause for concern. The fact of the matter is rapes are opportunist crimes committed within the confines of private spaces. Majority of such cases are committed within the confines of homes by the person who is in any way or other known to the victim. Sexual violence has become a major national issue and it can have profound negative effects on victims and society at large. This calls for an urgent attention towards social set up and moral upbringing of citizens of the country besides proper implementation of strict laws.