Rape/Grooming Victims and the South Asian Society.

The other day I was watching a documentary on the victims of Asian gang grooming. The documentary presented both young Asian gangs and those who speak against such despicable acts. It was alarming to witness some of the boys who were filmed, their behaviour and attitude towards women and rape. By no means were the boys that were recorded a true or wide representation of the South Asian community but it was still highly disturbing to watch them joke about rape, grooming and demean women.  I am recognising that there seems to be a growing trend of Asian men mostly of the Pakistani origin raping and grooming children and women. Perhaps it is the media that keeps repeating the same stories continuously but we can’t deny that parts of stories are still true and they don’t seem to be stopping any time soon. After one Asian gang gets caught another one is exposed to the police and media straight after it. This in itself is highly worrying.

I recall the time whilst I was studying sociology I visited Reading Crown Court to get a clearer understanding of the criminal system. I was allowed access to sit in a court hearing; the case was based on rape. The victim was a young Irish Women and the alleged was a young British Pakistani man. I too had the pleasure of sitting next to the father of the alleged, the anger and tension coming of him was strong like his aftershave. It was saddening to watch how the court dealt with the rape victim; it wasn’t as dramatic in the movies where the defence team point fingers and yells at the victim for lying or in Bollywood films, where you see the defence lawyer practically screaming in the face of the victim. Nonetheless, it was still daunting. The terminology that kept being used against the victim was “I suggest you wanted him to touch your breast” emphasises on the word “suggest”. The rape victim answered the soul-shattering and intimidating questions that were given to her. She was sobbing and was lost for breath by the end of it. All I could think of was the mental trauma this poor soul has to go through, to relive that horrible event again and to have to keep going through what happened that night. At the same time I could hear the father of the alleged offender cursing the victim under his breath. He also asked me if thought if she’s lying like he does. I didn’t answer but was hugely taken back by the father’s attitude.

After the break it was then the unproven offenders turn to save himself and justify his action. His tone of voice when he answered a question was dull and very matter of fact. He wasn’t allowed to see his victim as she was covered from his view. After 2 hours, the court finally came up with the final verdict which was of course the man did rape the young woman. I was relieved it was all over as it was the most intense thing I’ve ever sat through. However, I was still troubled by how the court was so insensitive and uncompassionate towards the rape victim. All the doubting and trick questions she was given suggested to me that she was the one on trial. She was guilty of something therefore she deserved to be spoken to in such a harsh manner.

Also, the attitude of the father was too worrying and how he was trying to justify his sons act even knowing his son was a proven offender. The fathers of the Asian gang members in the documentary had the same attitude when their sons were arrested on charges of rape and child grooming. It was once again victim blaming and never questioning their son’s sins.  The viewpoint of rape within the South Asian community, is that most people indeed are highly against the crime and find the offenders to be immoral and cruel. However, there are few individuals who fail to see what their kids have done wrong and fail to take any responsibility. It is entirely the victims fault and if the victim is a chid then “Where was the child’s parents?” and “Why did they allow her to be out so late?” The failure of taking any responsibility only encourages younger generation males to take part in such inhumane acts.

Moreover, by some Asian parent’s completely victim blaming and defending their sons only stops them helping their sons to have redemption. I know my community is highly against rape and any forms of grooming, but there are those individuals who are making headlines and to the families who don’t want to taint their reputation and hurt their precious sons, so they continue to demonise the victim. Rape and grooming is never acceptable, it doesn’t matter if she was drunk, out late, and dressed in a certain way. Men should be able to control their sexual urges. Why should it be the women or child’s fault that the man behaved like an animal? The Asian community should speak out against rape more, support victims, not shame them, understand that their son has committed a massive act of immorality and acknowledge the real criminal.



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