On July 11, a New Delhi court will hand down its first decision on the brutal gang-rape case that rocked India in December 2012.
On December 16, a 23-year university student and her male friend entered on a bus as they returned home from watching The Life of Pi in a theater. The gang members beat up the male friend and then brutally raped the woman. She suffered massive intestinal bleeding after they assaulted further her with an iron rod. She died 13 days later in Singaporean hospital. Reportedly, the incident was seen by hundreds of people.
The first defendant, a 17-year-old at the time of the crime, is being charged separately from the four other accused men because he is a minor. His identity is still unknown and protected under Indian law. At the beginning of the case, six men were being charged. But one man, the gang's bus driver and supposed leader, died in prison of apparent suicide.
Some have begged that the 17-year-old be charged with the older gang members so that if convicted, he would also face the death penalty for the rape and murder charges. In India, the punishment is death by hanging.
Otherwise, his minor status means that if convicted, the boy will serve no more than three years for his crimes.
It seems unlikely that this defendant will be acquitted of the charges. And seeing as hundreds of witnesses are testifying against his counterparts, it seems that they will never make it home again. Their verdict will come down in the next few months.
On Wednesday, fellow PolicyMic pundit Laura Zheng wrote a great and relevant article called, "One Disturbing Chart That Explains Violence Against Women." The violence rates in Southeast Asia are high, but any violence against women is already too much violence.
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, call the national hot line @ 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Or check out this website for more assistance: www.thehotline.org