Lawyer For Alleged New Delhi Rapists Wants You To Know That A ‘Respected Lady’ Doesn’t Get Raped

shutterstock_101340586Ever since the gang rape and consequent death of the 23-year-old New Delhi student, I’ve pretty much been waiting for someone to hurl this age-old sentiment across the interwebs. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long for someone to pull out that trusty “good girls don’t get raped” line of reasoning. reports that Manohar Lal Sharma, the lawyer who is representing three of the men charged with rape and murder, believes that his clients will be found innocent because of “a number of problems” with the investigation. But then he has to go and throw in Classic Victim Blaming Tactic One:

“Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady,” Sharma said in an interview at a cafe outside the Supreme Court in India’s capital. “Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect.”

Lal Sharma had the gall to say this in India, where women are reportedly raped every 20 minutes, inviting a wealth of problematic assumptions about what constitutes a “respected lady.”  While his thoughts do provide just a glimpse into the stigma of rape in India, the notion that you could therefore sexually assault a woman who did not fit the “respected” mold is just as telling.

Ranjana Kumari, director for the New Delhi-based Centre for Social Research, describes Lal Sharma’s comments as a way of assessing rape that ”most Indian men are suffering from.” Nothing new to the United States rape culture either, I might add:

“That is the mindset that has been perpetrating this crime because they justify it indirectly, you asked for it so it is your responsibility.”

Lal Sharma also added during his victim-blaming interview that the victim’s boyfriend, who was also attacked, was “wholly responsible” for her hours-long gang rape and beating. According to him, that unmarried couple should not have been roaming the streets at night, luring evil doers with their unmarried licentiousness.

Blame the time of day. Blame the fact that they weren’t married. Blame everything and everybody but the rapist.

(photo: Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock)

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  • Monique Boulanger

    That lawyer can go shove his forehead up his anus

  • aarch

    Mr Sharma along with d rapist shud b hanged s wel 4 rprsntng those demons. If d girl was ur daughter, wud u stil hav rprsntd em??? Shame on ya idiot

    • Marta Browne

      Perhaps you should read the very well written piece on why it is important that -someone- represents the accused. If you want justice according to the law, it must be carried out completely and without errors that would leave room for appeal.

      Speaking of good writing, you might pick up some pointers yourself. This kind of shorthand is difficult to read & negates your opinion.

  • meteor_echo

    I understand that somebody needs to represent the offenders, but this person is starting to move in the same direction as them. Someone needs to pass him a friendly reminder that he can be made responsible for his words – quite possibly in the worst way.

  • Blooming_Babies

    It’s a disgusting defense and it makes me so angry to hear about how “good girls” don’t get raped. Is it also true that “good kids” don’t get attacked? How about “good guys” don’t get mugged? Sigh… I would rather live in a world with no victim blaming.

    But the show must go on, please sir defend these monsters in every way you can think of so that when they are locked up they stay locked up.

  • Deborah Gilmour
  • Deborah Gilmour

    This is only the tip of the iceberg as to what is happening to women there.!/pages/The-50-Million-Missing-Campaign/133518236684516

  • Jen Clark

    Seriously? Is he serious? “respected ladies don’t get raped”? What’s next, good homes don’t get broken into? good kids don’t get molested or kidnapped? Good wivesgirlfriends dont get abused? Oh wait, I believe that last one has already been pulled out hundreds of times since before the 50s.”that unmarried couple should not have been roaming the streets at night, luring evil doers with their unmarried licentiousness.” Jesus, he might as well have pulled out the “dont leave your house if you dont want to be raped” bs. When will the victim and woman shaming end? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shamed as a women, mother and victim of domestic violence and molestation. “If you were a good person that would never have happened, real mothers dont bottle feed, real mothers dont have C-sections, good mothers dont take help from others, respectable women dont take birth control, real women dont smoke or play video games, real women dont live with their partner” I’ve heard all of this plus 100 other hypocritical and bogus comments some going as far to suggest that if I was a good parent and respectable woman I would be dieting and not have “silly hobbies”. Seriously when will it end?!