In the light of the horrendous incident that took place recently in HATHRAS, a wave of outrage again struck across the country demanding justice for the innocent 19-year-old victim, who lost her life in the horrible incident. Amidst all of the social media uproar and protest, we once again face the same question which has been questioning our society for many years – is our country safe for females? Looking upon the stats over the last years the answer to the question is disappointing and shameful at the same time. India- the country in which there is a culture of worshipping women, now holds the dismal reputation of being one of the worst places in the world for females. The women here now no longer feel safe to walk home after 7 at night. Here is a statistical analysis of rape cases in India.
RECENT STATISTICS OF RAPES IN INDIA
The NCRB(NATIONAL CRIME RECORDS BUREAU), which functions under the Union Home Ministry, is tasked with collecting and analyzing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code and special and local laws in the country.
India recorded an average of 87 rape cases daily in 2019 and overall 4,05,861 cases of crime against women during the year, a rise of over 7% from 2018. The latest government data was released on September 29, 2020, in which 32,033 cases were of rape, which was around 7.3% of all crimes against women during the year. The majority of these cases under the Indian Penal Code were registered under ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ (30.9 percent) followed by ‘Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’ (21.8 percent), ‘kidnapping and abduction of women’ (17.9 percent), the NCRB data for 2019 showed.
The country recorded 3,78,236 cases of crimes against women in 2018 ,out of which 33,356 were rapes , which is again larger than the 32,559 cases recorded in the year 2017.
The NCRB data reveal the rate of crimes against women increased from 58.8% in 2018 to 62.4% in 2019.
All these stats clearly show that the cases of rapes in INDIA are continuously increasing which is very demeaning for a country like INDIA. All the amendments brought up in the law and all the protests are serving futile. Day by day cases of rapes are increasing. Girls can not feel freedom in a sovereign nation. According to the reports of NCRB in January 2019, a rape is reported every 15 minutes somewhere in INDIA.
IMPACT ON LIVES OF FEMALES
Cases of rapes threaten females to the extent no male can ever imagine. The fear has become a part of their lives. They CANNOT feel safe anywhere. They CANNOT trust anyone, not even their relatives.
Parents don’t want their girls to be alone late outside. Girls are taken out of schools, not allowed to get out of their houses, are married off as soon as possible and the vicious cycle continues.
The one that suffers the most is the victim and her family. Their life does not remain the same. The victims fear from facing anyone, they stop going outside. Some even feel harder to live and considers their life as burdens and eventually end up killing themselves.
PROBLEMS AND SOME POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
In this patriarchal and gendered world, rape is a stigmatized crime wherein aspersions are cast on the victim instead of the accused. This emboldens menfolk who bank heavily on a woman’s silence to preserve her honour. It is also very easy to put the blame on the woman for bringing out the beast in a man. People blame the dress of women as the cause of rape but the cases with ladies with burkhas, cases with minors suffice to prove this claims illogical !!
Other than the basic ill-thinking of society, lack of sex education is another major problem. A skewed sex ratio, lack of accessibility, and negligible interaction with people of the opposite sex play havoc on impressionable minds fed with easy access to porn.
There are item numbers where the woman is projected as no more than an object of desire. This causes women to be viewed as commodities, meant to be consumed and ravished. Many rapists upon being interrogated revealed that they do not consider women as human but as objects to satisfy their urges. It doesn’t matter who it is.
Slow judicial processes and not immediate punishments also contribute to this problem. It took 7 years for NIRBHAYA CASE accused to get convicted. The conviction rate in India is as low as 27.8%. This means, out of 100 accused, only 28 gets convicted. One of the common reasons why criminals don’t get punished is the poor police investigation. Reasons such as hostility of witnesses and complainants and the familial pressure on the victim also play a role.
And to add on all these shameful factors we have our politicians who leave no stone unturned to turn such shameful incidents into an opportunity to increase their vote banks!
WHAT IS NEEDED TO BE DONE??
Sensible sensitivity is essential to counter this crime which is rightly classified as the ‘worst crime against womanhood’.
EDUCATION , SEX EDUCATION, GENDER SENSITIZATION AND LEGAL AWRENESS ARE VERY NECESSARY TO CONTROL RAPES.
We need better policing and CCTV mapping of desolate areas. Cognitive restructuring is needed to remove the myths clogging our minds. Behavioral and emotional intelligence is very different from academic intelligence. We need to question the accused and not the victim, the time of rape, or the dress she wore. Society needs to stigmatize the perpetrator instead of the victim. The accused should be immediately punished and the punishment should be such that no other men will ever think of committing such heinous acts.