Pepper spray products on display in a shop in New Delhi. After nearly three weeks of lurid reporting on a horrifying gang rape in the capital, women say they are more anxious than ever, leading to a surge in interest in self-defence.
Washington/New delhi: In the wake of the shocking assault and gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi that got India a lot of negative play in the media, the US has offered to help India strengthen public and private organisations working to combat violence against women.
“Our goal is, whether it’s in India or anywhere else, to help strengthen all of the public and private organisations that are working to combat violence against women,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters yesterday. The US has worked very hard around the world to combat violence against women and will continue to make it a strong tenet of its foreign policy wherever there is a problem, she said when asked about the gang rape in Delhi and subsequent death of the victim Delhi that sparked huge protests in India.
US Ambassador Nancy Powell had put out a statement on December 29 “after the victim died from this assault, offering our heartfelt condolences and our absolute abhorrence of these events”, Nuland noted.
“Obviously, we have as a government worked very hard around the world with regard to combating violence against women,” she added. “We have a number of programmes, including programmes in India in public education, in support for NGOs, that help women who are victims of violence, including domestic violence,” she said. “And we will continue to make this a strong tenet of our foreign policy wherever there is a problem, and unfortunately, there are problems in countries around the world, including our own.”
After nearly three weeks of lurid reporting on a horrifying gang rape in New Delhi, women in the capital say they are more anxious than ever, leading to a surge in interest in self-defence classes. New Delhi has long been known as the “rape capital of India”, with more than twice as many cases in 2011 as the commercial hub Mumbai, and special care is taken by most women when travelling at night or on public transport.
Self-defence trainer Anuj Sharma says he has fielded a flurry of calls from concerned women interested in taking classes with his Invictus Survival Sciences training institute in south Delhi.
“There has been a certain surge in the level of demand for services like self-defence and personal protective training,” Sharma said at a class in a school hall, echoing comments from other martial arts experts in the city.
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old, who jumped from a moving train in Bihar after she was allegedly molested by two men, was in a critical condition in a hospital. An Assam Rifles trooper has been arrested for the rape bid.
“Her condition continues to be critical. A team of doctors are monitoring and treating her. She has suffered injuries in her head and legs,” a police official said about the woman who was shifted from Ara Sadar hospital to the Patna Medical College and Hospital after she jumped from the train on Thursday evening.