India Gang Rape Victim’s Condition Worsens

The condition of an Indian gang rape victim has “taken a turn for the worse,” according to a doctor treating the 23-year-old woman at a hospital in Singapore.

Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive officer at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where the victim was transported, reported that the woman’s vital signs have gotten worse and that there are signs her body is experiencing severe organ failure, reports CNN.

Authorities have yet to release the name of the woman, who was gang raped on a bus in New Delhi, though protesters have named her Damini, which translates to “lightning.”

The incident occurred on December 16 and since then the woman has been fighting for her life in intensive care. She has been battling infection in her abdomen and has also had her intestines removed, because of injuries cause by a metal rod used during the rape.

The New York Times notes that the statement by the hospital added:

“Her family members have been informed that her condition has deteriorated, and they are currently by her side to encourage and comfort her.”

The gang rape serves as a reminder of what women in India face often. Sexual assault and harassment are not uncommon against women in the country. Both the police and the judicial system have been accused of not prosecuting those responsible effectively. The incident has caused protests in the country with citizens demanding more protection from the police to deter and stop incidents like this.

Some protesters and politicians are even calling for the death penalty to be issued to rapists. Top officials, like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, believe that the time to act is now. Singh stated during a speech on Thursday:

“The emergence of women in public spaces, which is an absolutely essential part of social emancipation, is accompanied by growing threats to their safety and security. We must reflect on this problem, which occurs in all states and regions of our country, and which requires greater attention.”

It is unclear if the rape victim will be able to recover from her injuries, though she recovered enough last weekend to give a statement about the rape to a magistrate from her hospital bed.