A Year On: 14-Year-Old Rape Survivor & Mother Marries Her Rapist

A 13-year-old pregnant rape survivor was denied permission to abort in 2016. A mother now, she’s married her rapist.

Updated31 Jul 2017, 04:09 PM IST
Women
3 min read

Last year, a 13-year-old rape survivor from a village near Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, who was denied permission by the Allahabad High Court to abort her foetus, has married her alleged rapist, after a decision made by the village elders. She had given birth to a baby boy in October 2016 – after she decided to keep the baby and denied adoption requests.

But nearly a year later, with a 10-month-old son, she’s married the alleged rapist.

Speaking to The Quint, the father of the rape survivor says:

The people of the village came together, along with the the Pradhan of the village, who decided that this marriage should happen. When we asked the girl, she said, whatever you wish works for me. Jaisa tum chaho, waisa theek hai.

In 2016, The Quint had visited the rape survivor’s village and spoken to her and the rape accused’s family.

At the time, the entire case and the future of the child hinged on the DNA test of the child. Now, the baby is 10 months old. And what about the rape case which is still pending?

Hum case ko khatam kar denge…” says the rape survivor’s father.

How the State Betrays a Rape Survivor

Shortly after the birth of the boy, commenting on the newborn child’s future, the rape survivor’s father had told The Quint: “Ab bacche ka jo bhi karega, court karega.”

Now, it has been reported in Hindustan Times that the couple has applied to register their marriage and will shortly move the court to quash the pending rape case.

From rape to pregnancy, each step of the 14-year-old rape survivor’s story belies how the state and the judiciary relentlessly fails rape survivors in India.

After discovering her daughter was raped, the rape survivor’s father – a farm labourer – filed an FIR in June 2016. He was allegedly threatened by the local police, ostracised from the village and was allegedly threatened by the police and the rape accused’s family.

Also Read: How We Failed the 14-Year-Old Pregnant Rape Survivor in Bareilly

At the time, the girl was 12 weeks pregnant. Their appeal for abortion under the Medical Termination Pregnancy (MTP) Act was rejected and the girl and her father filed for a revision in a sessions court. But the fast-track court ruled against the abortion. Finally, the girl filed an appeal in the Allahabad High Court when the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) delayed her medical examination by a week.

She was found to be 33 weeks pregnant, and abortion was not permissible by law. At the time, VP Dhyani, the rape survivor’s counsel had said:

If the police and the authorities had cooperated at the time, then the outcome would have been different. But you know how it is, when the other party is powerful. [sic]

Earlier in the month, a 10-year-old rape survivor in Chandigarh had made headlines after she was denied permission to abort her foetus by the Supreme Court. She was raped by her uncle and is 30 weeks pregnant – with a real and pending risk to her health.

In the village near Bareilly, the 13-year-old rape survivor lives with her alleged rapist and his family after her marriage. In an interview to the Hindustan Times, the rape accused said:

It was a mistake on my part for which Allah will never forgive me. I want to correct that mistake by accepting her and my child.

On 28 July, after rejecting the 10-year-old Chandigarh rape survivor’s plea for abortion, a Supreme Court bench urged the government to consider setting up permanent medical boards in states across India, so that child rape survivors are able to receive speedy access to medical care.

Also Read: The Other Rape Survivor in Chandigarh Who Gave Birth to a Girl

If not justice, it’s the least that the judiciary and the government owe rape survivors in India.

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Published: 31 Jul 2017, 02:56 PM IST
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