I Think: Rape reports should have fewer details

Kimaya Mehta, student, Mumbai

‘Rape reports should include what action if being taken’. Photo courtesy: Kimaya Mehta

I don’t really read a lot of stories on sexual violence or rape, but I hear about them from the family, and at school. At school, the older kids often have presentations and art exhibitions on such incidents, where they tell us about it — and how awful it is.

I think it’s not really shocking anymore, because it happens so often. But it’s really sad to see.

I feel media reports dramatise some incidents, and as awful as it is, there may be more sides to the story. All the reports I’ve heard of or read are horrible. It’s such a violation of privacy and it’s so scary to hear that it could happen to anyone, anywhere.

Rape reports shouldn’t include so much detail. These stories are already so explicit, even the concept, that maybe just reporting the incident and fewer names might help. Maybe these reports should be less personal and just say what happened, without names — the victim’s name might be motivating and inspiring for some, though. They should definitely avoid too much detail, because it’s not something people should read. You want to make people aware, but maybe tone it down a little?

These reports should include what actions are taken— people often read these stories and ask what is being done to stop sexual violence. The media should definitely know what action is being taken — by the government or other bodies. It’s so much better to hear that people care and are acting on it. And if they aren’t acting on it, then the people deserve to know.

This is one in a series of articles that NewsTracker published from 25 November to 10 December as part of the #16Days activism, aligned with the UN’s International Day for Ending Violence Against Women. This piece appeared on Day 12.