05.19.138:13 AM ET

India Debates Rape Response

After judge says women could marry rapists.

Retired Supreme Court justice G.P. Marthur told a crowd in January that it can be appropriate for women to marry their rapists, provided the marriage wasn’t coerced. The remarks came only weeks after a student died after being brutally raped on a bus in New Delhi—and they underscore the uphill battle many are fighting to improve attitudes toward rape and sexual assault in India. There is a “bias that begins in society and spills over into the courtroom,” according to Indian solicitor general Indira Jaising. But that bias might be changing: the country erupted in protest after the death of the 23-year-old student at the end of last year—protests which continued after a 5-year-old girl was raped and killed in Delhi.