The MPHRC expressed its serious concern on the rising of Rape against women

Shillong, Nov 27: Observing the 23rd Foundation Day Today,  the Meghalaya Peoples Human Rights Council (MPHRC) would like to expressed its serious concern on the rising numbers of cases of Rape against women and girls in the State and this has once again exposed the failures of the  Justice system.

“Nearly six years after the Government amended Laws and put in place new guidelines and policies aimed at justice for survivors of rape and sexual violence, women and girls continue to face barriers to reporting such crimes. Victim-blaming is rampant, and lack of witness and victim protection laws make girls and women from marginalised communities even more vulnerable to harassment and threats” said MPHRC.

“Women and girls with disabilities continue to be at a heightened risk of abuse. Even though the laws on sexual violence include several provisions to safeguard the rights of women and girls with disabilities and facilitate their participation in investigative and judicial processes, girls and women with disabilities face serious barriers in the justice system” said MPHRC.

“As we look to the future, and in order to address the chilling impact that rape and sexual violence against women and girls has from the perspective of human rights, urgent action must be taken by government, as well as an independent monitoring mechanisms, civil society organisations and women’s rights movements” said Dino G. Dympep, Chairman MPHRC.

These factors contribute to the unacceptable tolerance of rape, including within criminal justice systems, often resulting in impunity for perpetrators. Moreover, criminal justice systems that adopt force-based definitions of rape often require evidence that the perpetrator used coercion and that the victim failed to fight back. As such, the burden is placed on the woman to prove that she resisted. If unable to do so, the perpetrator would walk free while the victim is left stigmatised.

“We strongly urges the Government to ensure access to justice and accountability mechanisms and timely and effective remedies for the effective implementation and enforcement of laws aimed at preventing sexual violence against women and girls, in all contexts, including by informing women and girls about their rights under relevant laws.

The MPHRC is of the opinion that by improving legal infrastructure, including, as appropriate, through gender responsive training for police and security forces, prosecutors, judges and lawyers and other relevant authorities and officials, and removing all barriers to access to legal counselling, assistance and remedies concludes” MPHRC.

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