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Victims of sexual assault, meanwhile, often find themselves blamed by their families and police, who deride them for inviting attacks. Activists say most rapes are simply kept secret, even from authorities, so that the woman and her family are not seen as tainted.
"We can celebrate this particular case. But total change is a much larger issue," said Rebecca John, a supreme court lawyer and prominent advocate for women in India.
"As we celebrate this case, let us mourn for the other cases that are not highlighted."
The victim’s family was, in many ways, far different from most in India. Her parents had pushed her to go as far as possible in school, and even encouraged her to leave home for a better education, both seen as highly suspect in the conservative village culture that her parents were born into. They had saved for years to help pay her school fees, and made clear that her brother would not be favored.
And when she was raped, the only people they blamed were her rapists.
Their pain has been staggering.
"I always told my children: ‘If you study hard you can escape this poverty.’ All my life I believed this," the mother told the AP in an interview earlier this year. "Now that dream has ended."
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