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: