Debangana was forced to record her statement — and the details of her abuse — before male officers.
Three of her alleged attackers were promptly arrested and charged, but two years later they are all out on bail. India’s notoriously slow justice system allows defense lawyers to spin the case out as it goes through the courts.
Her family’s home has been destroyed and their rice field torched after she refused to withdraw the case.
That defiant streak has enabled to her endure the humiliating questions in the packed courtroom, where she is asked to recall minute details of each assault.
“They once asked me how many times did I sleep with men? I replied: ‘I never slept with them, they raped me.’ A lawyer then asked how much money did I make at the brothel? I said: ‘The men just threw a few coins at my face, so they could hurt me more.’”
Asked if she believes she will ever get justice, she replied: “At least I’m trying.”