Sentenced to be raped

“Enjoy the girl and have fun”. With this single sickening sentence, the head of a khap panchayat ordered men to gang rape a girl whose only crime was falling in love. Let’s make this a turning point in the wave of violence making West Bengal the gang rape capital of India.

CM Mamata Banerjee has removed the police boss who failed to arrest the rapists, but alone, it is not enough. Today Banerjee will have the country’s media all around her as she opens the Kolkata Book Fair. Let’s create a massive public call for a comprehensive policy to protect women, and help introduce a ‘Womanifesto’ to end the violence.

We did it in Delhi, now we can do it in West Bengal. But time is short — we can’t miss this chance to create a public storm. Let’s help Banerjee direct her powerful presence to put in place a system of training and enforcement that can stop the rape epidemic in her state. Click below to join the call — when 50,000 of us sign, we’ll take the message straight to her during the Book Fair in the next few days:

Sign for the cause

The brutal attack was ordered when a village council hit the victim with a fine she could not afford. Her punishment was announced as she knelt, bound and terrified, at the feet of her attackers. Twelve men from the village, men she called kaka and dada, wasted no time in carrying out the sentence.

This shocking crime is part of a crisis spiralling out of control. Just last week a fitness centre employee was gang-raped in a moving vehicle in the heart of Kolkata. And as the world welcomed a new year, a teenage girl was burned alive by her tormentors, who were raping her for the second time after she reported an earlier attack to police.

So far Mamata Banerjee’s administration has been characterised largely by denial, conspiracy theories and counter-accusations. But her response to this case is a sign that we can reach her — now let’s get Banerjee to extend her protection to all the women of West Bengal, sending a strong signal across India before this year’s elections.

Sign for the cause

From Morocco to the Maldives, the Avaaz community has been taking action to end violence against women and girls around the world. In India, Avaaz has been asking for public education against sexual violence since the horrific Delhi gangrape and murder in December 2012. Inspirational heroes all over the country are fighting an epidemic of violence, and our community can stand with them in this fight.

With hope and determination,

Meredith, Patri, Dalia, Bert, Alice, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team