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December 25, 2012

Mind of a Rapist: It’s not mental, but CRIMINAL

Malathy Iyer TNN

Mumbai: Why do men commit rape? Friends and family of Ram Singh, the 33-year-old Delhi driver who is the main accused in the gang rape of a physiotherapist, have used words such as ‘mental’ and ‘volatile’ to describe the moment he transgressed all legal and social limits. But experts are clear: rapists are criminals who believe they can get away with the crime.
Padma Deosthali of NGO Cehat that works with rape victims said, “It is important to make a point that rape is an act of violence, and the intention is to humiliate, hurt, put down or get back or teach a lesson to a girl/woman.’’
Do rapists have psychological or personality disorders? Far from it, she said, adding, “They know that they can get away with it.’’
Psychological profiling of rapists done in North America and South Africa say rapists were possibly exposed to violence early in childhood. Rape is an experience of power over women (see box).
Closer home, a five-yearlong study done by Swanchetan, an NGO that works in the field of mental health, among 242 inmates of Delhi’s Tihar Jail showed that 70% of the accused were repeat offenders. The study said the offenders had a certain level of confidence when he/they attacked the women. Moreover, Swanchetan said the rapists had committed multiple rapes — “on an average at least four” — before they were caught.
Dr B N Gangadhar, professor of psychiatry from NIMHANS, Bangalore, is against using psychological or sociological labels for rapists. “There is nothing psychiatric about a rapist. In fact, a person with a psychiatric illness will never commit a rape. It is clearly a criminal mind that has decided to gratify oneself despite the norms of society.’’
Dr Sunil Mittal from the Delhi Psychiatry Centre said rapist are perverted people who revel in the fact that they get away with it. “Thrill for them is violence and aggression along with sex. He feels powerful with sexual assault,’’ said Dr Mittal. He added that rapists are possibly people who cannot have a normal sexual relationship. “He cannot make any intellectual contribution to a relationship, choosing sexual aggression instead,’’ he added.
Mumbai-based psychiatrist Dr H Shetty sees the increasing trend of violence against women as being a part of a larger societal problem. “India suffers from chronic disaster syndrome. There are rising costs of living, insecurity at the workplace, loss of faith in the system, etc. At the same time, people see personalities getting away with big crimes. A malnourished body gets attacked by various mircrobes. A society that is malnourished will see rise in such crimes against women.’’
towards partners and having transactional sex (paying for sex). This is rooted in men viewing women as sexual objects, who should be conquered.
(Source: Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes or Cehat)

Source: Times of India Dec 20 2012.

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