In 2020, the total number of rape cases reported in India amounted to over 28 thousand. This was a decrease in rape cases compared to the previous year. Even though many rapes are not reported in the country, it is an issue that continuously makes news headlines, some leading to public protests. Although reports of rape have increased in recent years, it was still associated with shame for the victim, rather than the perpetrator.
The justice system
A victim of rape in India not only experiences social stigmatization but what is more, her fight for justice is not made easy due to the system that often faults the victim for their misfortune. Instances have been reported where victims are confronted with hostile conditions at police stations and have been often pressured to withdraw their cases. However, once a case goes to trial, it can take decades before anything is resolved. Rape cases in particular, face huge backlog where the number of new cases supersede the number of cases disposed every year. The process is arduous and could add so much trauma to the victim’s life that they often buckle under pressure from family of their own or that of the perpetrator.
Women in India
India is known to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women. Indian women are constantly in a state of high alert when alone on the streets, at work or in the markets. Due to India’s predominantly patriarchal nature, domestic violence is known to be culturally acceptable. Studies reveal that even a majority of working women suffer domestic abuse from their husbands. A non-earning woman’s position further exacerbates vulnerability and dependence on their male partner as opposed to a woman who contributors financially to the household. Rampant poverty across the country is the main driver for low literacy rates and consequently, disempowerment and abuse among women.
Total number of rape cases reported in India from 2005 to 2020
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NCRB (India). (July 26, 2021). Total number of rape cases reported in India from 2005 to 2020 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved September 25, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/632493/reported-rape-cases-india/
NCRB (India). "Total number of rape cases reported in India from 2005 to 2020." Chart. July 26, 2021. Statista. Accessed September 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/632493/reported-rape-cases-india/
NCRB (India). (2021). Total number of rape cases reported in India from 2005 to 2020. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: September 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/632493/reported-rape-cases-india/
NCRB (India). "Total Number of Rape Cases Reported in India from 2005 to 2020." Statista, Statista Inc., 26 Jul 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/632493/reported-rape-cases-india/
NCRB (India), Total number of rape cases reported in India from 2005 to 2020 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/632493/reported-rape-cases-india/ (last visited September 25, 2022)