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article imageOp-Ed: Rape — What India can learn from the UK

By Alexander Baron     Jan 7, 2013 in Crime
Manchester - While shock waves continue to reverberate around India over the gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus, people in the UK do things differently.
Sadly, that a woman is raped is not that much of a news story because women are raped every day. What made the Nirbhaya case so shocking was that no fewer than six individuals took part in the crime, and this was followed by her shocking treatment by the authorities. She was treated like a leper who had turned up uninvited at a banquet rather than the victim of a heinous crime. Here, we do things differently.
Last August, Jordan Swales raped a young woman in Greater Manchester. He dragged her through the street and pinned her to the ground. But for two passersby, who knows what would have happened next? One of them, a woman, phoned the police, and then showing considerable courage attempted to distract him. In the meantime, the woman's boyfriend ran off and returned shortly with another man, the two then found Swales and detained him until the police arrived. Swales has now been sentenced to 8 years in prison, which under the circumstances is not a day too long.
This sort of thing is not uncommon. Way back in the 1970s, Donald Neilson, the notorious Black Panther, was detained by members of the public who came to the assistance of the two police officers he had kidnapped at gunpoint. Neilson was not only armed but had murdered four people.
The behaviour of the public in this case and especially the woman in the Jordan Swales case - Kirsty Normanton - was exceptionally brave. For all she knew, he could have been armed with a knife or worse.
At the end of the day though, this sort of response is not about heroism, and it is certainly not about making political statements on rape or the status of women. It is simply about good citizenship and common decency. If most people acted like that most of the time, the Nirbhaya case and similar outrages wouldn't happen.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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