Richa Chadha says, Stigma associated with rape should be abolished

Actress Richa Chadha has raised concern over lack of strict laws for rape cases in India.

“There are myriad problems in India when it comes to reporting gender crimes. The statistic is worrying that rape cases often don’t get reported because of the social stigma attached to rape. The phrases used to describe rape are izzat lootna or naak katna. There needs to be a multifaceted approach to fix this so we need to fix this on multiple levels. The society needs to be more aware. One wonders why cops are reluctant to register FIR. No law is made without context so after the Nirbhaya rape case, there were amendments to the clauses of rape law. But to what extent is it followed and implemented is crucial to determine how successful rape law is. The conviction rate of rape in India is fairly high contrary to popular belief,” she said.

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Richa will be seen essaying the role of a public prosecutor in the upcoming film Section 375. In the movie, she will fight to get justice for her client, who claims she was raped by a filmmaker (played by Rahul Bhatt), who is defended by Akshaye Khanna’s character in court.

For Section 375, Richa says she did “extensive research”.

“It has to start with wearing black and white, and turning up with tied hair neatly. Female lawyers dress plainly to not attract attention, in order to be taken more seriously. Mentally, I did extensive research and (director) Ajay Bahl had a lot of material on reported versus unreported rape cases. The UN women foundation material was available for reading, and some great women lawyers guided me on how to approach cases of sexual violence. I met private defence lawyers and public prosecutors, and I was surprised to read so much about gender violence in the country,” said Richa.

Section 375 will release on September 13.

I was asked to show navel in high-waist pants: Richa Chadha