A girl from India was reportedly raped by her father, then punished for the horrific act.
The girl, who is believed to be 13 years old, was reportedly sleeping in her bed alongside her 7-year-old sibling when their father came into their room drunk, put his hand over his daughter’s mouth and raped her.
The girl was too afraid to report the rape, and when word got out the town saw fit to punish her for neglecting to report it. Her father was fined a small amount and whipped, but the girl was sentenced to a harsh five “sticks” worth of whipping on the grounds that the rape was “her fault.”
“It did not hurt me, because they beat me very lightly,” she told The Washington Post.
“I asked them to beat me because I was at fault," she added. "The fault was I did not tell anyone about this at home. I told them my father just held my hand. That was my mistake."
A witness was so angered at the girl’s punishment that he took evidence to the police. Authorities ultimately arrested the seven members of the local council that beat the girl, and charged the father with child abuse.
“They said it was the girl’s fault. That the father was drunk and he was not in his senses,” the witness said. “I got angered at the whole thing. How could a girl invite such an act? The panch [caste council] said, ‘You’re useless, you’re the culprit.’ She was crying.”
The girl ultimately received a small amount of compensation for the ordeal, and was given a medical evaluation.
“You can’t have a parallel judiciary that’s completely unaccountable and gives arbitrary punishments -- many of them barbaric,” Hamid Dabholkar, the head of an Indian advocacy group, said. “That is what happened in this case where the girl was beaten when she herself was a victim.”