A woman who survived a brutal rape is begging for permission to be euthanized in India, saying there is no hope for justice.
The 30-year-old woman, who lives in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, was allegedly raped by her stepson and her husband’s friends. Though she gave the information to police, and a first information report (FIR) has been filed, no arrests have been made. Now, with her alleged rapists threatening her, she is begging the president to allow her to undergo euthanasia.
“I have lost all my hope in justice,” she wrote in a letter to President Draupadi Murmu. “Despite court’s order, police have not arrested any of the accused named in the FIR lodged with Puranpur Kotwali Police Station on October 9. They are pressuring me to keep mum and also threatening me of dire consequences.”
The woman explained that after marrying her second husband, her stepson began badgering her for an affair. When she refused, he began assaulting her. Eventually, she got pregnant, and was forced into an abortion. Then, she was taken to her husband’s farmhouse in Chandigarh, where her husband’s friend, a relative, and two of his work colleagues raped her as well.
Five people, including her husband and stepson, have been named in her complaint filed with the police. But they took no action until she went to court, which ordered the police to file the FIR. Even still, nothing has been done, which has led the woman to feel that death is her only way out of the situation.
“All the accused are roaming free and constantly threatening me. It is better to die than live like this,” she said.
Sexual violence is endemic in India, including difficulties for survivors to find justice against their assailants. India is also one of the countries hit hardest by gendercide — targeted abortions of preborn girls — which has led to horrific consequences for women. Due to the cultural preference for boys in India, there are millions of missing girls — and the shortage of women has been linked to an increase in sexual crimes, including rape and sex trafficking. And as girls remain so devalued, even to the point of death, tragedies like those which struck this woman continue to flourish.