Indian rape survivor makes four suicide attempts in one week after Whatsapp video of attack goes viral

The case comes just days after another rape survivor killed herself over another Whatsapp video in the same region

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 20 January 2016 11:00
A protester against sexual violence in Hyderabad in September 2013
A protester against sexual violence in Hyderabad in September 2013

An Indian woman tried to kill herself four times in just one week after her alleged gangrape went viral on social messaging app Whatsapp, her family have said.

According to the unnamed 25-year-old’s father and brother, the woman had been gangraped in 2013 and then allegedly blackmailed over the video ever since.

Her father, a 50-year-old-farmer, said his daughter’s marriage had broken up due to the pressure after her husband and his family had allegedly threatened to kill her after they found out about the alleged rape.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of rape and criminal intimidation in the Muzaffarnagar region in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

Four others have also been named in connection with the case.

The woman’s family say they moved her to a relative’s house and were keeping a close eye on her after she attempted to end her own life multiple times.

He told the Indian Express: “Every time I speak to her, she tells me that she does not want to live. Why did she not tell us what she was undergoing all these years? Can there be a greater failure for a parent?

Women protesting against sexual violence in Bangalore in April 2015

“If she could not have told me, she could have told her mother or her sister. The matter could have been resolved, police complaint filed and action taken right then. She would not have to suffer so much.”

He said the entire family had not left the house since the video came to light and their fields were being neglected as a result.

It comes just days after a 40-year-old social health worker from the region killed herself after a video of her own alleged rape was also circulated on Whatsapp.

The woman - a postgraduate student at a university in the Muzaffarnagar region - told the Indian Express she harassed over a period of three years during which they extorted money from her by threatening to release the video.

She said: “They took Rs 50,000 (£519) in installments, threatening to circulate the video. Last month, they demanded Rs 1 lakh (£1,038) and when I could not pay, they circulated the video on WhatsApp”.

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