Five men accused of raping a university student for hours on a bus as it drove through India's capital were charged Thursday with murder, rape and other crimes that could bring them the death penalty.
The attack on the 23-year-old woman, who died of severe internal injuries over the weekend, provoked a fierce debate across India about the routine mistreatment of females and triggered daily protests demanding action.
The law may bestow leniency on him but according to the Delhi Police, the juvenile associate of the men who executed the gangrape of December 16 was the most brutal of them all. According to the chargesheet, the juvenile had subjected the 23-year-old physiotherapist to sexual abuse twice, once when she was unconscious. He extracted her intestine with his bare hands and suggested she be thrown off the moving vehicle devoid of her clothes, it says.
The maximum sentence this juvenile could face would be three years in a reform facility.
Meanwhile, here in the US, the House GOP celebrated the end of 2012 by letting the Violence Against Women Act, which was passed by the Senate and supported by the White House, die on the floor without a vote:
VAWA, which has been reauthorized without fanfare since then-Senator Joe Biden spearheaded its passage in 1994, strengthens the criminal justice system's ability to address domestic and sexual abuse and expands services for Americans who have been victims of those crimes. But it expired in October of 2011 after conservative lawmakers balked at the addition of expanded protections for undocumented immigrant, Native American, and LGBT victims of sexual assault. The two chambers have butted heads over the bill for the past year—in May, the Republican-controlled House passed a watered down version to strip the protections for diverse populations, and subsequently refused to cede any ground to the Senate. The beginning of 2013 means the 112th Congress has officially failed to ensure protections for rape survivors. VAWA expired on its watch, and there's no more time to remedy that mistake.
That failure is a glaring mark on this outgoing Congress's unimpressive record, particularly because it's hard to find much about the domestic-violence prevention bill that seems difficult to support.
It's actually quite simple: What Republicans find hard to support is women.