WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC IMAGES, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF THE IMAGES MAY CAUSE DISTRESS
The world has reacted with horror as appalling stories of sexual violence in India continue to saturate the media. But on the ground, the reality is even more harrowing.
These shocking images show how the authorities have reacted to women protesting against yet another spate of sickening attacks in India.
Driven back by water cannons and police – including a number of female officers – these protesters were subjected to violence while attempting to stand up for their rights.
No longer, Indian politicians have promised, would rape victims be shamed by police. No longer, the Indian judicial system said, would rapists be able to blame their victims.
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The images below show that the women of India, along with scores of male protesters, feel that these promises have been broken.
The hundreds of protesters in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh state, marched on chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's office, demanding that the government curb police indifference, which they said was encouraging attacks on women.
But this is a hostile culture for women – where a top policeman says, "If you can't prevent rape, you enjoy it."
In 2011, the Thomas Reuters Foundation named India the worst place in the world for women. Records show a rape occurs every 22 minutes there, according to the AP.
The cries for action follow a young woman being raped, forced to drink acid then dragged to her death in yet another sickening assault – just days after the murder of two cousins.
Disturbing pictures of the two teenage girls found hanged from a mango tree after being gang-raped have been broadcast on Indian TV.
Authorities have arrested five men - three brothers and two police officers.
An autopsy showed the hanged girls had been raped and then strangled.
The Times of India reported that the one of the arrested officers is alleged to have assisted the gang-rapists, while the other had deterred the families from filing missing persons reports. Both constables are then alleged to have been the ones who reported the girls' deaths to their distraught families.
SEE ALSO:India's Rape Problem
National Commission of Women member Nirmala Samant, said: "It's a horrific crime, we will be sending a team there to investigate the matter."
"The Government has promised that they will provide women safety. But it has not fulfilled yet."
Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang-rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.
Much has changed in the 18 months since then - harsher laws against rape, increased media focus on sexual violence, new police units dedicated to helping women.
But, it seems, India still has a long way to go to change a culture of sexual violence.