Father, uncle and brother of 16-year-old girl in West Bengal arrested for repeatedly raping her over two years

The girl had become pregnant twice during her alleged abuse and was forced to have an abortion both times

The father, uncle and brother of 16-year-old girl in West Bengal have been arrested for allegedly repeatedly raping the girl over a period of two years, according to police.

Police in the Jalpaiguri district said the girl had become pregnant twice during her alleged abuse, and had been forced to have an abortion both times.

The girl had attempted suicide four times, police said, adding that the girl’s mother had been aware of the alleged repeated rape of her child but had stayed silent.

 

After feeling too scared to speak out about her alleged repeated abuse, the girl confided in a schoolteacher in the Dhupguri town of West Bengal on Thursday, when she was taken to the police and registered a complaint against the three men.

“Her father, a farmer aged around 50, allegedly raped her several times. She alleged that her uncle also raped her and of late her brother had also started,” police spokesman K.L. Sherpa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The teenager is now living in the custody of her aunt.

Reporting rape as a crime in India has surged since the fatal gang rape and attack of a woman on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012, which sparked mass protest across India, bringing a new global focus to the treatment of sexual abuse and crimes on the sub-continent.

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Students of Convent of Jesus and Mary School participate in a protest against the alleged gang rape of a nun in her 70s

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Official figures for the number of women raped in India are often disputed by Women's Rights experts who claim the numbers are far higher

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Mukesh Singh, who appears in 'India's Daughter', claimed women are more responsible for rape than men

‘India’s Daughter,’ the documentary focusing on the incident and the culture of sexual violence in India, included interviews with the perpetrators while in prison, one of whom claimed that “a girl is more responsible for rape than a boy”.

In another brutal case, three men last year confessed to the gang rape and killing of two teenage girls who were found hanging from a tree in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The brutal gang-rape of an elderly nun was the latest case to receive global scrutiny. The woman in her 70s was attacked as she attempted to stop burglars ransacking the convent she and other women lived in. Eight men have since been arrested.

There was a 2.7 per cent leap in reports of crimes against women between 2012 and 2013, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, but most cases still go unreported in make towns and villages due to the shame and stigma attached to rape victims, where the victim is often blamed for the abuse.

In some villages, local councils act as de facto courts, often ordering rape to punish women, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported.

In January 2014, a 20-year-old woman in West Bengal state was gang-raped by 13 men on the orders of a village court as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community.

Additional reporting by Thomson Reuters Foundation

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