Not a day goes by that newspapers and TV reports do not mention multiple instances of crimes against women, the more gory of them having to do with rape. Despite the hullaballoo of the past nearly two years in the wake of the infamous Nirbhaya case, rapes continue to be reported from all parts of the country. It comes as no surprise now, even when such instances occur in your own neighborhood.
For all the efforts towards drawing attention to the mitigation of these horrific acts, the exact opposite seems to be happening. What is even more barbaric is that they are happening to children and infants. Who are these men who commit such dastardly acts and what kind of minds operate to target infants, daughters and neighboring children. Even schools are rife grounds for such heinous crimes.
All talk of improving the status of women appears to be a huge humbug when daily we encounter such instances. Add to this the ‘experts’ obtuse comments that have become de rigueur. They come as little surprise in a land where male supremacy still pervades predominantly. Despite the strident hue and cry after the horrendous Delhi rape case, women – including infants and little girls continue to be subject to vicious crimes.
As a society we too have become, more or less, immune to the malaise. We simply bypass the text lines carrying these snippets in the newspapers. Perhaps they do not bother us anymore. Conversely there is another type that vicariously takes in the dramatized versions that are ‘gori-fied’ by news channels as a form of entertainment! In fact if truth be told several news channels appear to be no more than entertainment shows.
The following crimes against women (Source National Crimes Record Bureau) continue unabated in our country. This information may well serve as a reminder of the status of our female populations.
• Female feticide — increased by 40%.
• Rape — 16,373 women ‘reported’ raped during the year. The truth is there are no figures on unreported numbers of women raped every day. It has been ascertained that 45 women are raped daily in our country, 1 woman raped every 32 minutes. There has been an unprecedented increase in the incidents of rapes from earlier years.
• Incest — 2.25% of total rape cases turn out to be cases of incest.
• Sexual Harassment — 44,098 incidents of sexual harassment reported. 121 women sexually harassed every day. 1 woman sexually harassed every 12 minutes. An increase of 20.6% is seen in incidents of sexual harassment.
• Importation of Girls/Trafficking — 11,332 women and girls trafficked. 31 women and girls trafficked every day. 1 woman or girl trafficked every 46 minute.
• Kidnapping and abduction — 14,630 women and minor girls kidnapped or abducted. 40 women and minor girls kidnapped every day. 1 woman or minor girl abducted every 36 minutes.
• Dowry Related Murders — 7,895 women murdered due to dowry demands. 21 women murdered every day. 1 woman murdered due to dowry every 66 minutes.
• Domestic Violence — 49,237 women face domestic violence in marital homes. 135 women tortured by husbands/ in-laws every day. 1 woman faces torture in marital relationship every 11 minutes. Domestic violence constitutes 33.3% of the total crimes against women.
• Suicide — 12,134 women driven to commit suicide for dowry. 1,10,424 housewives commit suicide and account for 52% of the total female suicide victims.
• Child Sexual Abuse – A study reveals that of 350 school girls 63% had experienced sexual abuse at the hands of family members. 25% had been raped, forced to indulge the perpetrators sexual whims. Nearly 33% said perpetrator had been close family member or male friend of family.
• Sexual Abuse — Out of 600 women respondents 76% were sexually abused in childhood or adolescence. Of the abusers 42% were ‘uncle’ or ‘cousin’, 4% were ‘father’ or ‘brother’.
• Domestic Violence — Over 40% of married Indian women face physical abuse by their husband. 1 in every 2 women faces domestic violence in any of its forms – physical, sexual, psychological and/or economic.