India Toughens Sex Crime Laws

India passed sweeping legislation on Sunday to crack down on sexual assault and trafficking in the wake of the horrific gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi in December. The new laws are the most wide-ranging yet in India, where many have blamed the government for not doing enough to prevent sexual assault. Still, some said these new laws had not gone far enough, since they do not address marital rape nor deal with the thorny issue of sexual assault in the military. The new laws go into effect immediately and change the definition of rape, which in the past had applied to penetration only and anything short of that had carried only a light penalty for “intent to outrage” a woman’s “modesty.”