Why rape victims hesitate to speak up

G Gopakumar’s acquittal of Franco Mulakkal, a bishop of the Jalandhar diocese, is the latest in misogynist rape judgments and tells you why sexual assault survivors remain reluctant to speak up. In two words: Rape trials

The acquittal of Tarun Tejpal in May 2021 falls into this pattern and is rife with graphic details about the survivor’s past sexual history, despite the law stating that it has no bearing on a rape trial. Like the Mulakkal judgment and like so many other rape judgments, it transgresses into the personal to become in a very real sense another violation of the survivor. And like the Mulakkal judgment, it is a cautionary tale on why women don’t speak up. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

During India’s #MeToo movement in 2018, a question I often heard was: But why is she speaking up now? On the face of it, it seemed reasonable enough. If you are the victim of a crime, why would you hesitate in complaining?

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