The year 2017 began with stories of molestation and rapes of women on the very first day of the New Year. What followed was a large number of people indulging in victim shaming and questions on how these women didn’t ‘anticipate’ such a situation. Women are denied the right to live freely and are always insecure about their safety because of incidents like these and the general attitude of the society. In India, a crime against women is reported every two minutes which makes it 720 crimes a day, all subject towards the Indian women. While the situation concerning women’s safety in the country is in itself frightening and appalling, facts about the perpetrators of these crimes is what makes it even worse.
A study conducted based on the facts from 2016 shows that 96% of the times, these crimes are committed by people known to the victim. These crimes are committed by relatives, neighbours, cousins and people who are positions of authority and stem from deep rooted attitudes that look at women as beings inferior to men. Many studies also highlight the fact that a large number of women are violated and raped in familiar places like their own houses or their relatives place and offices as opposed to the common misconception of things going wrong only in unknown dim rooms and dark alleys. The rising number of crimes against women is a result of the inactive and inefficient security and judicial system along with the deeply entrenched patriarchal beliefs. In addition to the lack of faith in the police, the stigma attached to the violence and harassment faced by women, leads to a hesitation from the victim in discussing and reporting such incidents because of which a large number of cases go unreported every year.
It’s an absolute shame that even after 70 years of independence; our country has failed to provide its citizens the most basic right to life and security. While the Government and the Judiciary still lag behind in being proactive to curb these problems and introduce concrete steps to tackle the same, various civil society organizations and members have come together and work tirelessly to make Indian cities safer for women and get the justice they deserve. For the past three decades, our team at CSR has been fighting for the rights of women and girls in the country and has initiated several programs to make women aware of their rights and empower them to become strong and independent individuals. We urge everybody to empower women and speak up in case they are ever victimized.