Statement on the Rape and Murder of Dr. Priyanka Reddy, India
Call for Immediate and Sustainable Interventions to Protect Women Health Care Providers Against all forms of Gender Based Violence Worldwide
Issued by: Women and Health Together for the Future
We, the undersigned medical students, health professionals, academics, activists, and progressive groups around the world, are outraged by the rape and murder of Veterinary Doctor Priyanka Reddy from Telangana, India. We strongly demand that justice is done in this and all other cases of sexual violence and the perpetrators are punished. This incident is not an isolated one with shockingly similar crimes occurring in many other countries and sexual assault occurring with frightening regularity in India. Adivasi and Dalit women and those working in the unorganized sector, women with disabilities, trans people, and sex workers are especially targeted with impunity – it is well known that the complaints of sexual assault they file are simply disregarded.
We urge that the wheels of justice turn not only to incidents such as the Priyanka Reddy Case but to the epidemic of sexual violence that threatens all of us. We need to evolve punishments that act as true deterrents to the very large number of men who commit these crimes. Our stance is not anti-punishment but against the State executing the death penalty. The fact that cases of rape have a conviction rate of as low as 25% shows that perpetrators of sexual violence enjoy a high degree of impunity, including being freed of charges.