GENDER

REVENGE CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN

“When humans take justice in their hand,

It is better to believe it’s the beginning of the end”

INTRODUCTION

Strong feelings like rage can push individuals to engage in both good and bad actions. On the one hand, it can motivate someone to put in the effort necessary to disprove someone’s assessment of their talents, but on the other side, it can turn someone into a criminal by encouraging emotional hostility. Retaliation crimes are at an all-time high because of people’s fragile egos and neurotic inclinations. We can assess the numerous sorts of retaliation crimes done in our society, though psychology would be more suited to explain why someone makes the decision to conduct such crimes. As retaliation crimes against women are always prevalent in the news, I have chosen to focus on them in this blog entry.

Retaliation has been the driving force behind innumerable crimes against women, from acid attacks to rapes, whether it came from an ex-romantic partner, a friend, an enemy, or even someone who had to deal with the woman’s rejection for anything. In any case, society can pass laws to prevent these crimes. Acid sales have already been banned in India by the Honourable Supreme Court of India after the leading case of Laxmi v. Union of India 2014 SCC 4 427. Rape, murder, and other crimes incur severe punishments. Does it, however, deter criminals? Despite how tragic it is, there hasn’t been much of an impact on crime rates.

INCIDENTS

A 17-year-old girl set out for school on December 14th, 2022, unaware that a friend with whom she had broken off communication just months earlier had plans to ruin her life. She is currently battling 8% burns as a result of the acid attack, which reportedly put out the revenge fire the guy was lighting Outlook Article.

Reading the account of Kayla Hayes was the first time I had ever heard of revenge crimes. When she was 19 years old, her ex-boyfriend chewed off part of her lip because she wouldn’t kiss him and had informed him, she wasn’t interested in rekindling their relationship. She still bears the physical and mental scars from countless surgeries and psychological therapies she was forced to go through owing to this horrific tragedy Kayla Hayes’ Story.

A girl turned down a man’s request for a romantic relationship a few months ago. Later, he committed suicide. The girl was violently tortured and raped by the entire family after his relatives blamed her for the boy’s death. She received this penalty for what? Exercising her rights?  For making a decision on her own?

RIGHT TO FREEDOM CURTAILED

Even though crimes against women have historically been prevalent in many nations, the particular category of retaliation crimes is primarily done by the victim’s familiar and even trusted persons. Women who are victims of these crimes constantly worry about every action they take in dating and hanging out with males. The lady is unable to leave a household where domestic violence is common out of fear that the abuser would retaliate.  Leslie Morgan Steiner says “It is incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser, because the final step in domestic violence pattern is kill her.”  It is safe to argue that this fear restricts a number of women’s rights. Women remain unreasonably afraid of the negative consequences of even their acceptable activities, which prevents them from properly exercising their rights given by Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. As a matter of fact, this has led us back to a time when a woman’s life decisions were made by her family. This is nothing but blatant objectification and reductionism of women.

SOLUTION

There are innumerable cases, but neither the quantity nor the severity of the crime itself are important. The question is: Can we put a stop to these crimes? How can these atrocities be stopped? Nearly all offences against women have been defined and described in the Indian Penal Code Crimes against women (IPC). So, finding a crime shouldn’t be difficult. The issue is the way laws are put into practise, as well as the effectiveness of the police and organisations like women’s helplines, courts, and investigative agencies.

Laws and penalties to control crimes against women can be found everywhere. Criminals have frequently received severe punishments from the court system in the past. However, crime has not decreased. Ineffective investigations by authorised organisations, victim blaming, lack of a bystander approach and delays in justice are the main reasons for reducing the effects of punishments.

The adage “justice delayed is justice denied” is true. Only when it is used as an effective punisher in the operant conditioning of future criminals and is of the proper intensity and timing can a strong precedent be established. To make sure that no cries for help go unnoticed, the police systems must be effectively connected with numerous helplines. 

As a society, we need to stop focusing on the victim’s biography and instead identify the crime, identify the culprit, and focus our narrative of such horrific crimes around the perpetrator’s intentions and deeds rather than the victim. Even though this might not prevent these crimes, it at least makes it easier for the victims to connect with society, tell their tales, and cease being scared to report such crimes because of social constraints. Every member of society must adopt a bystander approach in order to prevent the crime from occurring. It involves taking a stand for the victims either before or during the crime and accepting that violence and retaliatory attacks are inappropriate.

MESSAGE

Humans are only genuinely human because of their emotions. However, the entire purpose of being emotional is defeated when powerful emotions like hatred, retaliation, and jealousy grab the wheel and motivate the individual to do crimes. Instead of being neurotic, humans should aim to be empathic. It is up to us to drive toward a better and safer society because laws and policies can only give one direction.

Author’s Name: Pratiksha Rana (Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow)

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