Dalits (formerly known as untouchables) are on the lowest rung of a deeply discriminatory Hindu caste system. As a historically disadvantaged group, they are protected by law, but they continue to face systemic and widespread prejudice and violence. And for Dalit women, who account for about 16% of India’s women, that includes sexual violence. Rape has often been used by upper caste groups to punish or shame the community.
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