As per the rule of thumb, around 71% of crimes against women such as rape cases are never reported in India. Keep Reading.
- The 2017 National Crime Records Bureau, late by over a year observed 3.59 lakh cases of crimes against women.
- As per Indian legislators, more than 71% of rape and assault cases against women in India go unreported.
- Even in 2019, women in India still live in perpetual fear and face discrimination from a heavily patriarchal society and misogynist mindset.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently released data on crimes in 2017. The statistics report found 3,59,849 cases of ‘crime against women’ across India. These were cases such as murder, rape, dowry acts leading to death, suicide abetment, kidnapping, cruelty against women, cruelty by husbands or in-laws, and acid attacks.
In 2015 and 2016, the number of ‘crime against women’ cases stood at 3,29,243 lakhs and 3,38,954 lakhs respectively, which makes the 2017 number an increase of 6%.
The crime data by NCRB comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, responsible for collecting, and analyzing the crime data for all states and union territories. The already delayed report hardly comes as a surprise for India which touts itself as a modern superpower but ranks 127 out of 160 countries on the UN Gender inequality index.
We’re currently in November 2019, which makes the report more than a year late. However, a deeper look at what these recorded 3.59 lakh cases mean is something every Indian should introspect.
No Country for Women
The most unsafe state for women with the maximum number of cases reported in 2017 was in Uttar Pradesh (56,011). Maharashtra (31,979); West Bengal (30,992); Madhya Pradesh (29,778); and also Rajasthan (25,993) make up the top five.
However, national capital Delhi infamously called the rape capital of India and the most vulnerable city as per statistics for crimes against women, saw a decline for the 3rd consecutive year from 17,222 in 2015, to 15,310 in 2016, to 13,076 in 2017.
Dissecting the 2017 Statistics of Crime Cases against Women
When broken down into different crimes, ‘an assault with an intention to outrage her modesty stood at 21.7%. Similarly, cases of kidnapping and abduction constituted 20.5%. Likewise, cruelty by husbands or relatives made up 27.9%. Assam kidnapped and compelled most women for marriage.
Furthermore, sexual harassment at the workplace, public transport, and shelter homes stood at only 20,948 cases. Telangana tops the list in sexual harassment at the workplace with 117 cases. Bihar stands at the top when it comes to the harassment in public transport with 106 cases and UP tops with 239 cases reported of sexual harassment in shelter homes.
However, rapes only accounted for 7%. As per a UN Study, globally only 11% of the rape incidents are ever reported. Moreover, from a total of 32,559 cases recorded in India in 2017, 227 women were ‘raped and murdered’ in 223 cases. Here, MP recorded the highest number of rape cases at 5,562.
As per the NCRB report, strangers commit only 7% of rape cases. Thus, known people committed 93.1% of such reported cases. These include family members, friends, online friends, live-in-partners, separated husbands, family friends, neighbours, and employers.
In 2017, the gruesome Unnao rape case involving the ruling party BJP’s legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar shocked India. CBI charge-sheeted Sengar in the case last month.
Cyber-crimes against women
The NCRB report also included for the first time the number of cybercrime incidents. In 2017, India registered 555 cases of cyberstalking and cyberbullying. So, Maharashtra top the list with 301 cases. Andhra Pradesh follows at 48, with Haryana and Telangana at 27 cases each.
Underreporting of Statistics: Crimes against Women in India
Rape cases and sexual assault reporting might be up but it is still far from the actual number. Moreover, the irony is that in India there is no such crime as marital rape. However, they make up for 10-14% of cases in countries like the US. Rape is always a rape no matter who does it.
Advocate Preetha KK of the Human Rights Law Network said that rape on the pretext of promise to marry is very much exploitation. “Consider women who are illiterate and coming from backward sections of society. They are being manipulated by the promise of marriage and cheated later. So, it is not right if such cases are not considered rape.”
The Misogynist Mindset that plagues India
In 2019, women in India live in perpetual fear and face discrimination from a heavily patriarchal society and misogynist mindset. Despite many programs and policy initiatives, India remains largely a country of men, by men and for men. And as per statistics, crimes against women continue to grow in India.
Indian women still remain underrepresented politically, economically and socially.
Consequently, those who grow out and become strong still face continuous hostility from socially empowered men. In fact, women hold only 11.6 % of the parliamentary seats. Only 39% of women reach at least a secondary level of education compared to 64 % males. In the labour market, female participation stands at 27.2% percent compared to 78.8% in men.
- The most unsafe states of India with maximum crimes against women are UP, Maharashtra, West Bengal, MP, and Rajasthan.
- Sickeningly, only 7% of rapists are strangers and 93% are known men like friends, family members, and employers.
- However, in India, there is no such crime as marital rape, which makes up for 10 to 14% of cases in the US.