India’s most common crime against women
The so called, “great and pious nation India”, where the people revere millions of goddesses, it fails to revere the living women. Revere may be a very big term as per the situation, but even it fails to respect women. India is considered as the most dangerous place for women and it is definitely reigniting the question of women’s safety.
India’s most common crime against women is rape. It is reported that, in every 20 minutes a girl is raped in India. The majority of report reveals that female youth are vulnerable group for rape victimization.
The statistics regarding rape in India seems unreal but, yes! The statistics are true.
According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data, Madhya Pradesh with 4,394, Maharashtra with 4,144, Rajasthan with 3,948, UP with 3,025, Odisha with 2,199, recorded the highest number of reported rape cases. The NCRB data on the proximity of offenders to victim reveals that in 95% of rape cases, the offenders knew the victim. For example, 27% are committed by neighbours, 22% Involves the promise of marriage, and 9% are committed by immediate family members and relatives. The data further stated that at least 2% of all rape cases includes live-in partners or husbands, 1.6% are committed by employers or co- worker and 33% are committed by other unknown associates.
Most sad part is the children below 12 years of age are assaulted by 40%, from the total number of rape cases reported. Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of reported rape cases against victims who are minors.
To shove the rape rate against minors the government has introduced protection of children from sexual offences act (POCSO), which was enacted in 2012. Before POCSO, the accused in sexual assault cases of minors were booked under section 375 and 376 of the IPC. The act was brought into place with the hope that it would arrest the increasing cases of sexual abuse and victimization of children. But NCRB reports after 2012, clearly show that has not been the case.
Last year the government brought in a law that makes sexual assaults of girl below the age of 12, punishable by death. The proceeding got full support from different political parties, but experts have figured out that mere laws are not enough to stop the rape of children. Even the J.S Verma committee, formed in 2012 regarding the Nirbhaya case had said that the death penalty for rape would be retrogressive and might not have the desired effect. The need of the hour is to prevent crimes through a change of mindset of the people and better policing.
To some extent, they are true but the sluggish judicial system has to be ardent towards these sensitive issues. The word sluggish is mentioned here because as per the statistics there are only 23 judges present for every one million of people. The punishment for the rape accused should be a little more fiendish, if not death. The most crucial point among this is to shape the mind of the youth.
As Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist leader and a civil activist says-
“it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
The adolescent mind needs to be shaped through the respective mentor in a positive way without any discomfort of speaking the truth and not promote stigmatization of the victim.
The slut shaming and victim blaming offences should be prevented. Many of the survivors don’t feel comfortable speaking out, after being assaulted because of the repercussion like loosing their jobs, being forced to leave school or experiencing social isolation. In order to eliminate rape culture, it is imperative to create an environment in which the victims feel safe to speak up against the brutality they have been through, in which the repercussions for potential rapist are emphasized instead.
On a broader level, the judicial must create laws that empowers victims, not the rapist. Then only our nation can surpass the journey from “No safe place” to “brim-full safe place.”
Story by: Sanat Padhi