Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Foreign Woman Raped in Mumbai

A young foreign woman was allegedly gang-raped in Mumbai yesterday. As a result, a criminal complaint has been filed against six suspects. Mumbai police say the woman is studying in India.

Readers are reminded that rape against foreign women in India has been rising. In January a 24-year-old Dutch woman complained to the Goa police that she was drugged, robbed and raped by a group of Nigerians on the New Year's Eve near the Anjuna beach in Goa. A year earlier, the rape of 15-year-old Briton Sacrlett Keeling rocked the expatriate community in India when Keeling's body was found in a half-naked state at the Anjuna beach. The police initially said it was a case of drowning, but the victim's mother launched a campaign for justice which attracted international spotlight and exposed this tourist destination's ugly underbelly. In March 2008, an Australian tourist was raped by an engineering student in Karnataka's Gokarna region. The student allegedly forced his way into a beach side cabin rented by the 28-year-old Australian woman and raped her. In January of this year, five men were convicted for raping a 20-year-old German tourist in Chandigarh in September 2007. They kidnapped the woman from outside a five star hotel on September 28, 2007, and took her to a farmhouse in Haryana's Samalakha area where she was gang raped.

COMMENT: Women traveling abroad are urged to research the countries they will be traveling in before departure, as rape of foreign women in some countries is alarmingly high. On the other side of the coin, no one should adopt a fortress mentality, but should read pages pp. 230-244 of my book. Staying Safe Abroad: Traveling, Working and Living in a Post-9/11 World, and take a self-defense class in the event one chooses to resist rape or sexual assault.

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