Dalit rape survivor dreams of becoming a lawyer to help other sexual assault victims fight back

Sapna (not her real name) was gang raped by around a dozen men in 2012.
Sapna (not her real name) was gang raped by around a dozen men in 2012.ST PHOTO: DEBARSHI DASGUPTA

HISAR, HARYANA - "Sapna" - the Hindi word for dream - is what she tells The Straits Times to use in place of her actual name in this article. It is how this survivor of a gang rape in the state of Haryana wants to be identified - not a diffident victim but a doughty survivor.

The 23-year-old's dream is to become a lawyer so that she can help other women survivors of sexual assault fight back. "It is a promise I made to myself and others," she said, seated on a cot. Below lay her dusty black shoes that she wears to courts as an apprentice, its ornamental steel bow gleaming in the room's florescent light.

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