We should hang our head in shame. Gang rape videos are on sale in India as sex crimes against women soar. A Times of India report says that short clips, lasting from 30 seconds to five minutes, are downloaded directly to a customer’s cell phone as soon as the “content has been paid for.” Apparently the prices depend on how “exclusive” a clip is and vary from 50 to 150 rupees per clip.
What’s an even bigger shocker? The reports claim “this trade” turnover is quite significant with hundreds, or even thousands, of videos being sold every day.
The dealers sell these videos openly sitting in their own shops. Who is to blame? Is the media to blame? Is this the society we have become? “We need to ask if the popular culture and media coverage also feeds into this kind of consumption by making rape look like a spectacle and revealing too many gory details,” asks activist Kavita Krishnan.
The videos are not just being sold for money to keen viewers but also as a tool to extort money and blackmail the women who have been raped. These videos become a tool for blackmailing the survivors and dissuade them from reporting the crime. Speaking to TOI, Agra city SP Ghule Sushil Chandrabhan said, “In the past we have conducted raids at Tajganj and Sadar areas and arrested one for selling explicit videos and pirated films. We will continue to raid such places.” However, getting a hold of the perpetrators is not easy, since police insist that this happens under-the-table and the dealer does not sell the clips to an unknown person until he has a good reference.
UP Police responded to SheThePeople’s tweet this morning saying:
THE NUMBERS ARE SCARY
In 2014, there were 337,922 reports of violence against women in the state including rape, molestation and abduction, a 9% increase on the previous year, according to official data, as reported by LiveMint
As a society are we faced with a bigger problem? Krishnan says, “I think the idea of sexual violence and voyeurism go back a long way. We had MMS and consensual sex being leaked or uploaded online in porn sites. So as a society we need to think as to what is it about sexual violence that we seem to be participant in.”
This news has created quite uproar in the state and the country, with many taking to social media to react to this evidently sick behaviour.
Feature Image Credit: IB Times