The horrific crime of rape continues to be the most damaging crime against women. And in India, news papers are filled with reports of Indian women, foreigners, young girls and senior citizens getting raped every other day. Most of these reports come from the National capital, Delhi. Since the Nirbhaya gang rape happened in 2012, we have only seen an increase in the reported number of rape cases in the capital.
According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), last year the number of rape cases that were reported was 2,199 which is a 1.52percent increase from the year 2014 when the total rape cases were 2,166. In the year 2012, 706 rape cases were reported. The horrifying reality is that until May this year 727 rape cases have already been reported to the Delhi Police, which is more than the total rape cases in the year 2012.
If one looks at the wider range of crimes against women, in 2015 5,367 such cases were reported which is a staggering 24percent increase from 2014 when the crimes reported were 4,322. In 2012, the crimes reported were 727. Delhi had a share of 2,166 rapes in the total of 36,735 rapes reported in the country in 2014.
According to the data stated above, rapes happen every four hours in Delhi. “The number of rape cases is probably constant or the numbers might have decreased since the Nirbhaya case. We have no clue since the reporting earlier was much lower. It is just the fact that the reportage has increased on these rape cases now. The reasons can be several like the change in the government, the initiatives being talked about and the FIRs being filed by the police,” said Anandhi Shanmugasundaram, Gender Rights Activist.
She added, “It is not the question of increase in number but even the 727 rape cases reported in this year until May is very disturbing. In a way it shows the discrepancies on the part of the state authorities in following up the cases and building the adequate infrastructure to safety and security of the women who are increasingly coming to the city.
While more and more cases are being recorded, the migrant female workers who come to the city in the lookout for opportunities are a big target of the sexual violence. And it is not until the state makes them their focal point that this problem can be resolved.
No doubt, the numbers in front of us are a matter of a concern. However, it is heartening to note that that more and more women are coming forward to report such cases. If nothing else, the stigma around the cases seems to be decreasing.
Feature Image Credit: Yellow Horizon