India gang-rape emboldened victims, says family on anniversary

India gang-rape emboldened victims, says family on anniversary

NEW DELHI - The fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi shattered India's silence over sexual violence and emboldened victims to speak out, family members and campaigners said Monday on the anniversary of the attack.

The victim's father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the assault on his 23-year-old daughter on a moving bus on December 16 last year "shook not just us but the entire country and the world".

"We will only say that this date should be celebrated... so that people keep getting inspired and keep joining this movement, coming together to ensure the safety of women," the father told India's NDTV network.

Her mother said her daughter's bravery before her death should continue to motivate Indian women to "fight against such crimes and to raise their voices against such crimes".

The physiotherapy student suffered a savage sexual assault at the hands of six men, including with an iron rod, after she boarded a private bus while going home from the cinema with a male friend.

She died from her injuries 13 days later.

The brutality of the attack, and her determination to survive so she could report her attackers to police, sparked large-scale and sometimes violent protests as well as soul-searching about India's treatment of women.

The case led to reform of rape and sexual assault laws and shone an international spotlight on what Indian women's groups called a "rape epidemic" in the country.

Four of her attackers were convicted and given the death penalty in September after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to a detention centre.

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