With Few Interpreters at Hand, Deaf Women Are Rarely Able to File Police Complaints

Difficulty faced by a deaf woman in filing a rape complaint at the police station

In September, a deaf woman went to lodge a police complaint against four jawans of the Military Hospital in Khadki, whom she claimed had been raping her for 4 years.

She was sexually assaulted by one of the jawans during her night shift. she complained to her superior by sending a text message. He promised to file the complaint, but he raped her with the other jawan. He blackmailed her and said he would tell everyone about the message and spoil her name. They were joined by more 2 jawans. She was raped for the last 4 years by them.

While the jawans were booked, the survivor had a terrible time trying to file her complaint, due to the lack of interpreters.

The 34-year-old survivor said that she sat in the police station for 12 hours on 16 October while the police tried to understand what she was saying.

She has been called to the police station five or six times since then, and most times, interpreters were called by police, but they couldn’t explain what she wanted to say.

The survivor, who has resumed work at MH Khadki, was also unable to record her statement before the magistrate as there was no interpreter to help her there either.

This case is just one example of a deep shortage in the justice system where those with speech and hearing impairments often find themselves at a loss at police stations.

The two jawans who were in Delhi, were arrested on 12 November and brought to the Khadki Police station The other two jawans have secured bail from the Bombay High Court.