Imagine a country - a country with a population of, say, 63million people. Imagine that in that country, over 80,000 women are raped and 400,000 sexually assaulted every year, and over two per week killed by a current or former partner. Imagine that in that country one in three girls age 16-18 report experiencing unwanted sexual touching at school and nearly a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence. Imagine that within that society, in which one in four women will experience domestic violence, half of 16-18 year olds wouldn't know where to go to get support if it happened.
The aggressive questioning of vulnerable witnesses in court was exposed again this week with solicitor general Oliver Heald calling for change at the dispatch box. We've all heard stories of children - many of them victims of horrific sex crimes - being thrown to the wolves in court and it needs to stop.
With one of the highest rates of post traumatic stress disorder in the world, the impact is obvious. Nevertheless, their plight is largely forgotten by India and west.
Apparently, women are responsible for being raped for just being in possession of a vagina in public. After all, the suggestion that we hold individuals responsible for having their laptops stolen if left on the front seat of the car is the same as women making themselves vulnerable to rape by going out in public in clothes.
When a 14 year old Irish girl was raped and became pregnant in 1992, nobody knew that the shockwaves would still be rippling 20 years later. This week, the 'Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill' is navigating the Irish Parliament. If successful, abortion, where there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, may soon be legalised in Ireland.
#thingsworsethanrape. That's right you read it correctly. This is not the kind of thing that victims of rape should have to deal with and read. It is the kind of thing that so many members of society should be protected from, because even if it doesn't directly affect you it may affect somebody you know.
For many of us, rape often remains invisible. It is not acknowledged, discussed or even prosecuted. Yet for survivors, it is a traumatic, life-changing event. Whether the assailant is unknown or even if he is a partner, survivors need support. Being in a relationship does not mean that sexual rights are void.