Digital Rape?

Digital Rape – is a new terminology for me, and somehow my subconscious mind led me to a misunderstanding. It has nothing to do with modern digital technology, except some correlation with the fingers that you use to text on your smartphones.

The term ‘Digital rape’ does not relate to any sexual offense committed digitally, like defaming someone’s identity on the Digital platforms. It refers to the act of forcibly inserting fingers or toes inside the other person’s private parts without their consent. The word digital rape is derived from the word ‘digit’, which also means a ‘finger including the thumb or toe’; hence digital rape is meaningful now.

Similarly, there is a term “Digital Rape” that people often misinterpret-able and wonder how someone can rape digitally.Not knowing the actual term, they often consider it digital abuse. Sometimes it is confused with defacing someone’s identity on the digital platform. People think sharing naked pictures, or video’s on a digital platform without the owner’s consent is called Digital Rape.

Digital Rape is a term used to classify cases of rape. In the case of digital rape, the perpetrator used his finger or fingers to violate and force the sexual act upon the victim. Simply, a person is accused of Digital rape when the perpetrator used his/her finger or fingers to penetrate the vagina of the victim without her consent.

In India, until 2012, these types of offenses were not considered under the purviews of rape.In June 2022, there was a case in Noida, India, where a five-year-old girl was subjected to digital rape by her father.

In order to understand the sensitivity of this subject, three cases clear out the real meaning of the term ‘digital rape’.

Case 1: 2 year old digitally raped in Mumbai

In Mumbai, a 2-year-old girl was brought bleeding to the hospital. On examination, doctors found that her vagina was raptured, though there weren’t any sign of sexual assault or rape.

Case 2: 60 year old digitally raped in Delhi

In another incident which was occurred in Delhi, a 60 years old woman was sexually assaulted by an auto rickshaw driver, who used an iron rod to penetrate the 60 years old passenger who was visiting her relative’s wedding. Again, the driver was arrested but wasn’t convicted under Section 376 of the IPC.

Case 3: Conductor sentenced to 20 years in prison for digitally raping four-year-old girl onboard school bus

On December 12, 2018, Times now news published a report that explained a digital rape case. Here, a school-going girl was digitally raped by the conductor.

It all comes down to the point that the dignity of a female can be violated even without being raped. And how digital rape can have the same effect as rape.

But knowing that there are other ways that a man can use to violate a woman or child’s dignity; Supreme Court had to make some changes to its definition of rape. Keeping all the above cases and heinous instances of crime, the purpose of rape was extended in 2013.

According to this new definition, rape is considered an act of forcefully penetrating a woman’s vagina, mouth, anus, or urethra by a penis, any foreign object, or any other part of the body.

In many reports, it has been made clear that most of the time, the  offenders who disrespects  the modesty of a woman or violated the dignity of a child, is someone they knew personally. Usually, these crimes are committed by people close to the victim. Cousins, close friends, uncles (other relatives), neighbors, and sometimes their own father came out to be accused.

Luckily, most of the cases now do justice to the victim. And the offender has to spend a minimum of 5 years in jail. In some cases, the offender has to serve a lifetime prison sentence of 10 years, which can also be extended later.

Thankfully, the term digital rape has joined the definition of rape, and now there are strict laws for criminals who think digital rape is not raping. Better be aware of this terminology, and it’s consequences too!

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