Our deterrence system for crimes against women is broken. There are so many slips between the incident and actual justice, that by the time the punishment is meted out, all parties have moved on and it becomes divorced from what actually happened. The victim gets no relief out of the incarceration of her victim after so long and the accused is not set up as an example. When a man chooses to molest a woman, he doesn’t think that the consequences will be severe and swift. Like the guys in the Guwahati molestation casewho thought they were doing a public service and smiling and posing for the camera.
I have an idea that I think will make molesters truly think twice before they attack a women – make them pay a significant and ongoing financial compensation to her as punishment. The loss of money always pinches. It always hurts. Perhaps even more than jail time. The icing on the cake is when the offender knows that his actions have caused his “victim” to benefit in a financial manner!
Of course, this is in addition to whatever jail time is imposed.
When offenders are normally punished, the woman doesn’t benefit in any way. And the offender knows this. So it’s still a net loss for the victim, regardless of punishment. The purpose has been served. She was “taught a lesson”. But imagine if the victim were to benefit from the offender? Then he would think ten times before carrying out his plan. Because far from “teaching her a lesson”, he knows he will have to suffer to directly benefit her! No longer can he just assault her and have no more connection to the woman, leaving her with the shame and horror of what happened. Instead, his hard earned money will be transferred to her regularly.
Given that so many attacks on women stem from the hatred towards them and their “jeans wearing and pub hopping culture”, no one would molest a women if they thought she would ultimately come out of it on top. As I said before, right now any punishment meted out brings the woman no relief as such. What does she gain? This is why so many cases go unreported as well.
Change the incentives. Make the offender pay the victim and watch how afraid people will then be to touch a woman without her consent. Those thugs in Mangalore who proudly smiled for the camera? They would be quaking in their boots right now wondering just how many lakhs of rupees are going to be taken away from them and given to the brutalized girl. She would be a victim no longer. She would be adequately compensated for her physical and mental damage.
And all is well with the world :)