Tag Archive for 'Crime against women'

A ‘Rape Map’ of India


Aditi Malhotra and Saptarishi Dutta at India Realtime / WSJ:

Delhi has long been considered one of the most unsafe big cities for women in India. And north India is often referred to as more violent, more patriarchal, and more crime-ridden than the south.

To add some perspective to this debate, here is a look at statistics on reported rapes around the country.

These data carry the caveat that there may be higher reporting rates in different areas and reporting is not necessarily indicative of the prevalence of the crime. Victims may be reluctant to report rape because of fears their case will not be taken seriously and police may be reluctant to register complaints.

In 2011, a total of 24,206 rape cases were registered in India, according to data released by the National Crime Records Bureau. More:

The unspeakable truth about rape in India

Sonia Faleiro in NYT:

I lived for 24 years in New Delhi, a city where sexual harassment is as regular as mealtime. Every day, somewhere in the city, it crosses the line into rape.

As a teenager, I learned to protect myself. I never stood alone if I could help it, and I walked quickly, crossing my arms over my chest, refusing to make eye contact or smile. I cleaved through crowds shoulder-first, and avoided leaving the house after dark except in a private car. At an age when young women elsewhere were experimenting with daring new looks, I wore clothes that were two sizes too large. I still cannot dress attractively without feeling that I am endangering myself.

Things didn’t change when I became an adult. Pepper spray wasn’t available, and my friends, all of them middle- or upper-middle-class like me, carried safety pins or other makeshift weapons to and from their universities and jobs. One carried a knife, and insisted I do the same. I refused; some days I was so full of anger I would have used it — or, worse, had it used on me. More:

An app to fight crimes against women

Nilanjana S. Roy writes in the International Herald Tribune on India’s first women’s emergency mobile phone app, called “FightBack”:

It took a year to develop the FightBack app, which aims to address what many believe to be chronic under-reporting of crimes in the capital. For example, the National Commission for Women, a government agency, has recorded 526 complaints of harassment by women from Delhi so far this year that were not reported to the police, and it noted that complaints of police apathy were common.

The Delhi Police Department has a dedicated Crimes Against Women section, which was set up in 1983, in response to the lack of training among personnel in handling crimes against women, as the former joint commissioner of the police, Kanwaljeet Deol, wrote.

“The sensitiveness of the average police officer when dealing with a harassed and frightened woman left much to be desired,” Ms. Deol wrote in a paper assessing general police conduct in 2005. Six years later, the special section seems to have made a difference, but many women remain reluctant to go to a police station, out of fear of the police or family pressure not to report crimes.

This is where FightBack hopes to make a difference.

“There is an absence of concrete data on crimes against women,” said Mr. Sengupta, who believes that the availability of more information — about the nature of the violence women face and the locations where they are most likely to encounter it — is crucial to changing the situation.

In its first year, the FightBack app will be a paid download, affordable at less than 100 rupees, or about $2, and will be in English, before being rolled out in Hindi and other Indian languages. More: