“2012 Delhi gang rape and murder”, “Gang rape in a moving bus in Delhi”: these headlines on rape news from December 2012 shook the entire nation. Scores of women took to the streets to protest and demand that the government must do something to increase the safety of women in the capital. You all must have watched it on the news channels, I was also aghast at the cruelty of rapists.
It is now 2020 and still, nothing has changed. A recent incident of Hathras has surfaced, and it sends chills down every person’s spine. This case has failed the entire system of India. A 20-year-old woman died after she was brutally gang-raped and tortured in UP’s Hathras. Allegedly Policemen cremated the body of the girl without the family’s consent. It really makes everyone’s blood boil to see such rape news.
The officials have failed, people failed, and it should embarrass the entire system. Whatever the time, month, or year it is, you’ll get to read rape news daily. Is this kind of society we are making?
It’s heart-wrenching to see the rape statistics. It is transforming into a political drama rather than justice. This isn’t just about Uttar Pradesh, rapes are happening in India every minute. These political parties look into the caste of the victim first, then who is the ruling party in the state, and then they act. A Rape is a Rape, period.
The statistics are staggering: Rape News
In recent data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 87 rape cases per day in 2019 had been reported. 32,033 cases of rape were reported in 2019. The “Crimes in India -2019” report recorded 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women in 2019. In 2018, cases were 3,78,236, which means there is a rise of over 7%. The crime rate registered per lakh women population is around 62.4% in 2019, up from the 58.8% figure of 2018.
The NCRB data for 2019 showed, “Majority of these cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were registered under ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ (30.9%) followed by ‘Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’ (21.8%), ‘kidnapping and abduction of women’ (17.9%).”
The states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, followed by other states such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and MP have recorded the maximum number of crimes against women. This isn’t enough yet, Maharashtra has the highest number of rape, gang-rape with murder cases.
These statistics are far less than reality. There are so many incidents that haven’t been reported because of family pressure and social shaming. Only some cases caught the attention of the media, and it depends on the brutality of the rape. Yes, Indian media is also selective about rapes.
After the case of Nirbhaya, the Indian government swiftly set up a committee that would review the laws on crimes against women. I can’t help but think this was mainly because of all the international publicity the case was receiving.
Nobody is Asking for a Solution
These figures, unfortunately, show a system that’s letting down its people, it’s women. More victims are coming forward with faith and hope that justice will be served, but as the figures show, this is rarely the case. The government set up ‘Fast-track courts’ to speed up the trial for cases of crimes against women. So why is the conviction rate so low? The bureaucracy involved takes a mental and emotional toll on the victims that they end up giving up altogether, or take whatever payment is given to make them withdraw. It also gives the accused time to bribe the police and judge involved.
The police need to be rigorous in filing and following up on the cases. Any law enforcement caught slacking on their jobs needs to be properly dealt with. We also need a provision in the law so that victim support is built into the statute. That way the survivor gets the support needed to face this daunting criminal legal system, and there will be fewer perpetrators thinking they can get away with this heinous crime. There also needs to be gender sensitization in all schools in the country.
Sex education is a must, we have to work on the roots if we really want to eradicate this issue. Enforce the concept of equality in school-going kids and they’ll grow up respecting each other, and themselves.
In conclusion, better law, faster justice, stiffer penalties, sex education and ultimately a change in the population’s attitude is the only way we can make a difference in the safety of women.