Sexual assault is a huge, huge problem in India. Not only are the number of reported rapes disgustingly high, but women are 40 times more likely to die after being raped in the country than compared to the US.
There has been public outrage against the epidemic of sexual attacks against women in the country, but still the problem persists.
Something that actress Sanusha Santhosh unfortunately experienced firsthand when she fell asleep on a train.
The 23-year-old recounted her horrifying story to The News Minute. She was awoken by 40-year-old Anto Bose touching her lips. She immediately twisted his hand and turned on the light and started screaming for help.
But no help came.
"I was sleeping. Suddenly I felt something touch my lip. When I woke up I saw this guy lying on the upper berth opposite me trying to feel my lips. I immediately twisted his hand and switched on the light."
Only two men came to her aid, everyone else minded their own business.
"When I told everyone, nobody seemed to mind. Only two people, writer Unni R and Ranjith, a man from Kozhikode, helped me out. I think people’s protest and outrage begin and end on Facebook. But when you’re confronted with a real life situation, nobody cares or reacts."
The entire experience has changed Sanusha's view on humanity.
"Probably if I had put up a status on Facebook, there would have been many more people showing support, saying "I'm with Sanusha" and changing their display pictures. However, as a woman I want members of the community to stand up for me at times when such incidents happen, not just later on social media. It is really disheartening and I have lost faith in the society."
When Sanusha first saw that no one was coming to her aid, she doubled down on twisting the creep's hand until police arrived - and didn't let go until authorities apprehended the man.
People on Twitter couldn't believe that the actress was initially left to fend for herself and were impressed by her doggedness in bringing the man to justice.
It brought up a conversation of sexual assaults on trains in India.
And other people just want men in the country to step up and help women who are in danger.
India's rape problem has depressingly extended to sexual crimes against children.
Someone assaulted an 8-month-old child.
In fact, there's been an 82% increase in attacks against children in the country from 2015 to 2016.
People are understandably horrified and are demanding action from the country's leaders.
The country's history with sexual crimes and their perceptions is a sordid one. Fatal protests in August of 2017 erupted when a spiritual guru was convicted of rape and his devout followers rioted.
This 2015 study from Carnegie Mellon University takes a look at the socio-historical roots that rape and sexual assault have in the country and why they've grown into such a big problem today.
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