Author: Muskan Zaidi, IV year of B.A.,LL.B. from Jamia Hamdard University
Crime against women in India has been on increase. It has been existed in the ancient time in almost countries, regions, cultures and communities. The number of crimes committed in India against women keeps rising every year. In 2012, the crimes against women in India accounted for 6.4% which meant in an average within three minutes a women fell victim to violence. The speed of the crime against women isn’t declining. The 2012 National Crime Records Bureau report of India states a reported crime rate of 46 per 100,000, rape rate of 2 per 100,000, the rate of domestic cruelty by husband or relatives as 5.9 per 100,000 and the dowry homicide rate of 0.7 per 100,000. Another survey report of 2006 found that 85% of women who suffered sexual violence in or outside of marriage, never sought help and only 1% report it to the police.
If we go back and check our history, it says by itself the status or the position of the women in our society. The status of the women during Veda period was good enough, they were treated equally to men and had high honor in society but later their position were faded in the society. Now, women get treated as an animals, often beaten by their husbands. At that time women get destitute from getting education. Their duties were only to give birth to the child but it should be a boy because girl child born was considered to be curse in the society. Women’s had no status in the society, they don’t carry any personality. They had no independent existence without their husband or father. Their existence lay in association with men as wife, sister or mother. Husbands were treated as a Parmeshwar to their wives. Women were thought to be a burden on their parents as dowry was to be given. Dowry system is still exist in our modern society. The women who were widows were looked down upon. That’s why the sati was practice at that time. System of sati pratha was prevailing which even snatched the right to live from the women. The women had to die with their husbands on their funeral.
In today’s world, the crime against women in India take several forms. Mostly these crimes result in lifelong trauma or death. The range of crime against women in India is very wide including dowry death or bride burning, rape, sexual harassment, prostitution, domestic violence, acid attack.
Dowry deaths are one such example of the crime against women. According to the historical period, it was an Indian tradition the bride’s family is supposed to reward the groom with a significant sum of money or in the form of goods. In rural areas, the people who are belonging to the poor family is unable to fulfill the groom’s demand for the dowry. In such cases, often bride falls victim to verbal and physical abuse of the groom. Dowry deaths are mostly seen in the rural areas rather than the urban areas. Women has to survive in the family where she is beaten, abused and regularly tortured for her family’s incapability to fulfill the dowry. And at the end she commits the suicide or either their in-laws burn her. The situation become worst when a women get physically tortured by another women. Mostly brides burned by their mother-in-law because of dowry.
Rape is the 4th most common crime against women. Rape is one of the most terrible slaughters committed on a women in our society. Rapes and non-consensual sex activity form a large portion of the violence committed against Indian women. Any man who try to do sexual intercourse forcefully or try to put there penis or any object in vagina, anus, urethra or in mouth of the women or makes her to do so with him or any other person without the women’s consent or against her will comes under rape. Such person shall be punishable under section 376, 376A, 376B, 376C and 376D of Indian Penal Code. Nowadays women’s are more aware and open about the topic rape, they come up with their stories of sexual assaults openly without any fear. However, the rape crime is still getting rise in India with the speed.
Marital Rape is another example of crime against women. Husband often impose and force themselves upon their wives without their consent. They forcefully do sexual intercourse and sometimes they throw their wives in front of another guy. Here the husband shall be punishable under section 376B of IPC.
Women are considered as weaker sex in our society. That’s why all sorts of violence are committed on them. Women’s became the easiest target and victims during conflicting situations between two communities. Sexual Harassment takes the form of teaching a lesson to unfriendly groups. Sexual harassment had seen mostly in workplace, where one person subjects another person to an unwelcome act of physical intimacy like grabbing, pinching, touching, or asking for any sexual favour. Men’s gradually use women’s emotions for their pleasure. If any women or girl wear short dress at their workplace she has to face these kinds of issues. Women have to face all kinds of cruelty given by Indian Society. Here the victim can file a complaint under IPC 1860 under sections 294, 354, 354A, 509. Women are able to compete with men in every profession. But this has added some problems to the working women.
Domestic violence involve physical abuse, sexual assault, threats. Domestic violence happens where one adult in a relationship misuses his power in order to control another. Mostly it seems in a poor areas where people are not educated, they only wants to rule on their spouse. When a women is not educated then automatically they become dependent on their husband. It becomes their habit to suffer silently in homes and outside. They are unable to fight against the injustice due to weaker positions in the society. In domestic violence it is not mandatory that women is violated by their spouse most of the times she has to face the cruelty from their in-laws. The situation become more daring when a women is educated and also a working women, the male ego comes in between their relationship of husband and wife. Men expect that women are only made for household chores once they return from office she should be in the kitchen. But where both are working, tension and ego clashes are frequently evident which is not healthy for a man-woman relationship. If a women is facing domestic violence by their husband or any other family member or her in-laws, she can complaint an FIR under section 498A of IPC.
According to our history, women were always kept behind the purdah and they only involved in the household chores. During such times, the females of the household were taught to treat their husband as a god, protector. Girls were taught to put their male counterparts above them and boys were taught how to keep females counterparts confined to their four household walls. All this coupled with a severe lack of education among women gave the recipe of women’s oppression. The reason of the acid attack can be different. One of the most common reason is the rejection faced by men. As we have seen in the DeepikaPadukone’s movie Chhapak. That’s how most of the acid attacks cases are results. Another reason, sick mindset of the society. Lack of education of both men and women regarding mutual respect and human rights, exposure of men is another reason of acid attack. Acid attacks are mostly the “crimes of passion” out of jealousy of a man. It is a crime greatly associated with marriage and relationships, most of them being about the man’s honors being demeaned by a woman who refused or reject a man for the marriage or settle with him.
Attitude of the men has to be change considerably against women in order to ensure that no violence against them takes place in the society. Women also be treated equally and respected as well. The laws have to be implemented effectively and stringent action should be taken for violators or perpetrators of violence against women. Education of both men and women is the foremost priority of today’s parents. By education we can change the mindset of the society and the families. Men have to change their mentality amongst women and also their attitude so that women have enough space to develop themselves. Secondly, women themselves have to unite and spread consciousness which help in real social development. Then only we will be in a position to get rid of the social ills prevalent in our society. Crime against Indian women is a spot on our nation and the Indian society as well. As long as the Indian women are subjected to violence, the international image of India is also going to suffer. Crimes which are domestic violence, sexual harassment, and other similar crimes on women will continuously damage Indian society and blocks national progress and the most important and severe crime is rape of a women in India. Therefore, it is imperative to take stringent counter measures to diminish any kind of violence against Indian Women.