A 23-year-old Indian woman who was the victim of a brutal gang rape earlier this month and listed as "extremely critical" has taken a turn for the worse, doctors confirmed. The young woman and a male friend were both beaten, with the woman allegedly raped by six men on Dec. 16.
The unnamed woman "has taken a turn for the worse despite doctors fighting for her life, including putting her on maximum artificial ventilation support, optimal antibiotic doses as well as stimulants which maximize her body's capability to fight infections. The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life," Dr. Kevin Loh said in a statement earlier today.
Women throughout India and the world have rallied around the unnamed woman, whom they are calling Damini, which means "lightning" in Hindi. People have been keeping up with her condition ever since news of the attack broke and were somewhat hopeful when Dr. Loh gave an official update yesterday.
"As at [11:00 GMT], the patient remains in an extremely critical condition," Dr. Kelvin Loh said just yesterday. "Prior to her arrival, she has already undergone three abdominal surgeries and experienced a cardiac arrest in India. A multi-disciplinary team of specialists is taking care of her and doing everything possible to stabilize her condition."
The young woman and her friend were traveling on a public bus when six men approached and began beating them with an iron bar and taking turns raping the woman. According to one report by the Associated Press, the men went so far as to insert the iron rod into the young woman before throwing her off of the bus, which completely destroyed her internal organs. To make matters worse, the bus went through several police checkpoints with no one stopping the attack.
The attack has set off a new round of protests against the Indian government, which people believe has let rapists and abusers get away unpunished for years. Many feel that the authorities in India have not done enough to protect women and children from attacks. Protests have entered a second week, even though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has promised that justice will be served.
"Let me state categorically that the issue of safety and security of women is of the highest concern to our government. There can be no meaningful development without the active participation of half the population, and this participation simply cannot take place if their security and safety is not assured," Singh said in a public statement.
Yet the public has not been satisfied with Singh's statement and continues to call for severe prosecution for those involved in this latest attack. Photos from the Associated Press show thousands of women holding signs that show pictures of men hanging, with the words: "Death sentence to rapists."
The latest attack has shed new light on an old problem, particularly in New Delhi. According to Al-Jazeera, "Official figures show that 228,650 of the total 256,329 violent crimes recorded last year were against women, with the number of rapes in the capital rising 17 percent to 661 this year."