I came across this at ted.com. It is a rather old piece but potent nevertheless. The crux of what Sunitha is trying to say is the biggest obstacle for victims of abuse is society, i.e US and I agree.
This incident happened years back when I was still in class 11 or 12.We had a maid who was very good at her work. She was punctual, did her work well and most importantly she did not steal. ( Yes, we have been robbed of valuable trinklets many times in the past) As far as her personal life went, I think her husband had run away or died or something like that... I think she had a son but again the details are sketchy in my head.
One day when I came back from school, there was a huge gathering on the front gate. The watchman, other maids, gardener etc were all arguing and talking. Later that evening they approached the us; the residents of the apartment complex.We were told that our maid was having suspicious relationship with a fruit vendor. There were allusions towards prostitution too....of course our maid denied it, but no one wanted her coming to our flat any more.She was castigated even before she was proven guilty. All residents and workers wanted her to quit immediately and of course we were maid less for quite sometime.I remember, I felt that she should not have been forced to leave.We should have given her a hearing and a second chance but the society has its own rules and rarely does it bend them.
Have you ever thought, why is it always the prostitute or the victim of abuse who has to take the brunt of the society and never the customer or abuser respectively? Even in the above case, no one said, they would not buy fruits from that particular vendor. The police men catch the prostitutes and dance girls in bars and huddle them into a cell, but never the men who pay for this. Every raid is about the prostitutes and never about their customers or even the pimps. The victims of abuse are never really allowed to forget their traumatic experience. More often than not, the reports or complains filed only bring more discrimination and trauma.
Three years back when I was in Ipswich, I found out that the police there went after the men who seek prostitutes and then published their photos in the local news paper, thereby using embarrassment in front of family and friends as a weapon, to curb this behavior. This idea really impressed me then and in my opinion, it still is by far one of the best ways to fight sex trade. In simple terms it is about demand and supply. If there is no demand there would be no supply. The reason why prostitution has stayed in our society since early ages, is because there has been a demand for it. If we want to fight it, we have to curb the demand first. UK Government has come a law which is along these lines and is worth reading.
It may or may not be the perfect solution but it is definitely worth considering. We have to take a re look at the laws concerning the sex trade and prostitution. It is high time we bring in some reforms without getting into the "moral" aspect of it. There are many immoral things happening in the world and the best way to fight it is by going after the source.