Remembering Nirbhaya: ActionAid memorial event marks one year on from Delhi bus rape | ActionAid UK

Remembering Nirbhaya: ActionAid memorial event marks one year on from Delhi bus rape

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Actor Meera Syal will lead a public memorial on Monday 16 December 2013 to honour Jyoti Singh, the 23-year-old student who was raped and murdered on a Delhi bus a year ago in an attack that caused outrage across India.

Organised by ActionAid, the event outside the Indian High Commission in London will show solidarity with Jyoti, known as ‘Nirbhaya’ or ‘The Fearless One’, and her family, and will call for urgent action to end violence against women and girls in India and around the world.

Meera Syal said:

“What happened to Nirbhaya is the stuff of nightmares and has haunted many of us since. This tragic case marked a tipping point for me and for millions of others in India and around the world when ordinary people took to the streets to all speak out loud and demand that violence against women everywhere is stopped once and for all.

“One in three women around the world will experience violence at some point in their lives and it traps hundreds of millions in poverty, which is why organisations like ActionAid work tirelessly to provide long-term support programmes for survivors and campaigns to end it for good.

“Standing together we can create a world in which all women can thrive in safety, dignity and equality.”

The event coincides with a rally in Delhi, attended by ActionAid India, which will follow the route the bus took Jyoti as she was repeatedly raped and beaten by six men on 16 December last year.

A new false on what has changed since the rape says reported cases of rape and sexual assault have gone up sharply in Delhi.

  • Reported rapes have almost doubled – from 706 in 2012 to 1,330 from January to October 15, 2013.
  • Reported cases of sexual assault have almost quadrupled from 727 in 2012 to 2,844 from January to October 15, 2013.

Richard Miller, Executive Director of ActionAid said:

“We have no certain way of knowing why the number of reported cases has risen so sharply, but our colleagues in India believe it is a reflection of some women feeling more able to report cases to the police because of the protests and publicity sparked by the Nirbhaya case.
“What we must remember, however, is that reported cases do not reflect the true number of cases of rape and sexual assault in Delhi and across India.”
“We have no certain way of knowing why the number of reported cases has risen so sharply, but our colleagues in India believe it is a reflection of some women feeling more able to report cases to the police because of the protests and publicity sparked by the Nirbhaya case.
“What we must remember, however, is that reported cases do not reflect the true number of cases of rape and sexual assault in Delhi and across
We have no certain way of knowing why the number of reported cases has risen so sharply, but our colleagues in India believe it is a reflection of some women feeling more able to report cases to the police because of the protests and publicity sparked by the Nirbhaya case.

“What we must remember, however, is that reported cases do not reflect the true number of cases of rape and sexual assault in Delhi and across India.”

ActionAid in India is calling for a 24-hour rape helpline, training for the police to better deal with cases of sexual assault and for the authorities to ensure equal importance is given to each case that is reported.

From the cases that ActionAid has worked on we know that women from poor, marginalised and socially excluded groups like Dalits, tribal people, the disabled and the urban poor are most at risk from violence. They are more afraid to report crimes to the police and less likely to see justice done.

Violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights abuses in the world, affecting one in three women. It traps women and girls, their communities, and ultimately whole nations, in poverty and undermines women’s potential and ability to effect change in the world.

ActionAid provides life-saving services for survivors of violence and runs long-term support programmes with practical solutions aimed at eliminating violence against women.