Even in the times when talking about sexual crimes is no longer a taboo, girls and women still hesitate to report sexual crimes in India. A new study done by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and quoted by Times of India finds that only one in 13 cases of sexual crimes are ever reported in Delhi while one in nine cases are reported in Mumbai. The study done by CHRI is named Crime Victimisation and Safety Perception.
The study reports that one in 11 crimes that are reported is sexual harassment cases in Delhi. However, in Mumbai the number goes like one in 25 crimes reported. 94% of the report sexual harassment cases in Delhi are about passing sexual comments on girls and staring which offends a person’s right to privacy.
The main reason why women feel scared of reporting these cases is because of the social stigma related to filing FIRs and dealing with the police system. The other reason is the fact that people find it to be self-degrading if they file a case in matters of sexual crimes. While awareness is being created on a much larger level about the safety of women in the country, sex offenders still find it easy to commit sexual crimes in the capital and other metropolitan cities.
In most cases when girls even come forward to register case against sexual offender, the police itself many times ask the victim to not go for an FIR. Such is our security system. Although they do warn the offender if it’s a crime of passing lewd comments and staring.
One more reason widely known about why girls shy away from exercising their right is the extended investigation period and circling the court. Midway in all this, the only thought occurs is to quit the case.
A simplified punishment system is the need of the hour where quick justice to women is given. Also, women should be encouraged to file cases at the slightest instance of sexual crime. One shouldn’t be advised to wait for something big to happen to them to go to the police. Filing a case against sexual harassment should be owned up as an honourable thing to do rather than being condemned in the society.