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The gang rape of a 23-year old medical student in India last month has raised questions about the officials who are meant to legislate against brutal crimes. This one led to the death of the victim.
Foreign Policy reports a very high number of members of India's national parliament (MPs) and members of state assemblies (MLAs) that have been accused of sexual assault against women.
According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms: 6 MLAs had rape charges at the time of their election and 36 MLAs had charges of assault and ‘insulting the modesty of a woman.' 27 candidates for state assemblies are accused of rape and 260 candidates are accused of crimes against women.
Foreign Policy also cites “assault, murder, defiling a place of worship, promoting enmity between different groups, rioting and dacoity” as charges against current MPs and MLAs.
New Delhi has gained the unfortunate title of “rape capital of India” and with the high number of Indian government officials involved in sexual assault cases, it is unlikely that change will happen as quickly or thoroughly as it needs to.
The women in India are not taking the news of the gang rape or the prevalence of sexual crimes lightly. The Huffington Post quotes Delhi trainer, Anuj Sharma, as saying that there has been a definite increase in the “level of demand for services like self-defense and personal protective training."
Sales of pepper spray, rape alarms, and applications for gun licenses are all on the rise in the Indian capital. Since the December gang rape incident, levels of security at companies have been tightened and extra security has been hired to escort women from work to home.
There were 24,206 reported cases of rape in India in 2011. 17 percent of the cases were reported in Delhi.