In December 2012, the brutal New Delhi gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student brought a cry of outrage to the streets of India that many Indian women were not used to hearing. Tuesday evidence that these cries were heard came from a court room, as four of the men involved were found guilty.
The family of the victim, replete with emotion, shed tears as the conviction was read,"She has got justice today. We are very happy," said the victim's father.
Sentencing for the four men will take place on Wednesday. Protesters advocating women's rights have urged the Indian court to give the death sentence, an uncommon sanction that is reserved for only the most egregious transgressions.
But regardless of the outcome, either the death penalty or life in prison, this case has acted as an instigator for new laws and attitudes that denounce sexual violence in Indian society. As a result, more Indian women are speaking out about sexual assaults and violent acts of abuse they have endured.
India's government is also aiming to do its part to address domestic violence and sexual abuse that has permeated the culture. The government recently created new legislation that doubles the sentence for those guilty of rape, and makes stalking and acid attacks a crime.
Even with this legislation there is still much to be done. One rape happens every 22 minutes in India, and only one of every four rape cases ends in a conviction; that's if the rape is even reported. Cultural traditions and Indian societal stigmas discourage rape victims from telling police or family and friends. Violated individuals are viewed as impure and immodest, and in some cases are considered to have encouraged and invited the advances of the perpetrator.
Men have also begun to join forces in ending the abuse that has become too prevalent in India. India's own Bollywood actor, Farhan Akhtar, has created a movement called Men Against Rape and Discrimination.
"Every time I look into the mirror, I want to see a man whose mother, sister, wife and daughter are proud to call their own," said Akhtar on his website for MARD.
Tuesday was a victory of sorts, as four of the rapists were convicted. A 17-year-old boy also involved was previously sentenced last month, and was ordered to serve three years in a correctional facility. The other man involved died in his cell in March. It was ruled a suicide, but his family suspects he was murdered.