Reporting Rape

Why is reportage on child rape so insensitive? Recently, a 12-year-old girl was sexually abused by her cousin and later his friends. One newspaper managed to get the doctor’s report where it stated that her hymen was intact and there were no concussions in the anal region nor was there any sign of struggle.

This has been going on for 18 months and it is possible that she decided to complain to the police later. After all, she lived with her aunt, the mother of the accused. If he is not guilty then why has he escaped?

Now, we are told that there were two self-inflicted wounds on her arms. What I find disturbing is the emphasis that she studied in an English-medium school, which makes her savvy enough. Apparently, she also changed her statement from rape to fingering.

I am aware that at 12 young girls today are quite aware of such terms. However, for someone who lives away from her parents – they are divorced and her mother is not in the city – and who is pretty much dependent on her aunt’s family, it does not make much sense that she would fake something like this and also manage to include nine boys.

If the media is so concerned about portraying a balanced picture – and no one has stopped them from reporting about abuse of boys – then the least they can do is not use illustrations such as the one here. The empahsis on portraying shame is unfortunate. I have seen some sketches of barely-clothed girls. Rape does not involve the victim being stripped. This sort of nudity only caters to the audience.

Incidentally, while surfing news, I found a red strip from The Economist asking us to “read more” on Child Pornography in Japan.

I don’t know who is worse – the one abusing the children or the media for abusing their sense of responsibility.


  1. Strongly agree with you. Newspapers and news channels really need to report rape with a little less fanfare. But my inference is, they need stuff to be sensational coz it sells and gets them money.

  2. SM:

    If money is what they want - and sure, they need it - then they ought not to give it a moralistic/ethical/concerned hue.


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