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  • Shubhi Srivastava

“RISING CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN” 

Shubhi Srivastava,

Jamia Millia Islamia

INTRODUCTION

“Violence against Women is not cultural, it’s criminal. Equality is not going to come eventually; it is something we must fight now.”[i] 

According to United Nation, “Violence against women is any act of gender-based violence that results in traumatic harm to women including threats of such act, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private life.”[ii] 

India is portrayed in a horrifying light by the National Crime Records Bureau. The rate of crimes against women climbed from 64.5% in 2021 to 66% in 2022, according to the most recent NCRB study.[iii].

CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN 

Under Indian Penal Code many kinds of offences are defined which women face. Some of them are:

•        Kidnapping and Abduction for Many Purpose[iv]- According to Section 366 of the IPC, a person who kidnaps, abducts, or induces a woman to force her into marriage or into coerced sexual relations faces up to ten years in prison and a fine. The number of female abduction and kidnapping cases has risen by 19.2%.[v] 

•        Cruelty by Husband and His Relatives6- There has been a rise in cruelty by husband to 31.4%.[vi] These acts of cruelty cause women to harm themselves severely or commit suicide.

•        Assault on Women with intent to Outrage her modesty8- This year, 18.7% of all cases are reported in this section. [vii] Assaults or the use of unlawful force with the intent to violate her modesty are covered by Section 354.

•        Rape[viii]- The crime can be classified as rape of a minor girl (Sec. 376), rape of a woman (Sec. 376), rape with murder (Sec. 376A), rape within families, rape by public employees (Sec. 376C), rape by gangs (Sec. 376 D), and rapes committed during marriage (Sec. 376B). 7.1% of reported rape cases were filed.11 

•        Dowry Deaths[ix]- Under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 13,479 cases were registered.[x] 

•        Acid Attack[xi]- According to Sections 326A and 326B of the IPC, anybody who voluntarily throws acid in order to cause grievous harm or to commit an assault faces a maximum sentence of seven years to life in jail as well as a fine. 

•        Women trafficking[xii]- The trafficking of humans, which includes the trafficking of minor girls, is covered by Section 370. Sections 372 and 373 deal, respectively, with the buying and selling of young girls for prostitution.

•        Eve Teasing[xiii]- The most frequent crime against women is this one. According to a survey, only one out of every 10,000 incidents is reported to the police.

•        Sexual Harassment[xiv]- A person who violates section 354A is subject to severe punishment that might last up to three years in addition to a fine. 

CAUSES BEHIND RISING CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST WOMEN 

i.                 Financial Causes- Financial concerns might lead to violence. After marriage, women are typically tormented for the dowry. Her spouse and in-laws can request financial assistance for all of their need.[xv] Because of this, they harm the woman if she disobeys their requests.

ii.               Personality Traits- Each individual possesses a unique quality. Owing to feelings of possessiveness, jealousy, or suspicion, husbands may resort to domestic violence or other forms of violence. Certain males possess an attitude that makes women feel insignificant.

iii.             Customs and Traditions- The National Family Health Survey-3[xvi], indicates that 54% of women and 51% of men concur that men have the right to physically assault women under certain conditions. 

v. Upbringing of a Child- if a child witness violence against his parents in an intimate relationship. He ultimately exhibits aggressive behaviour against women. He may end up abusing women in some horrible ways.

vii.            Justice Delivery System- Our legal system works so slowly. There are only twenty-one judges for every million people.[xvii]  This results in a delay in giving the victims justice. Because the offenders are not adequately investigated, convicted, or punished, they are not deterred from committing crimes against women. 

viii.          Awareness- The data on crimes against women may be rising for a number of reasons, including more awareness and education. As the #metoo campaign has demonstrated, many

women have come out to share their stories of how prominent members of society have violated their dignity in the past.

ix.             Legislations but no implementation- Although there are numerous laws protecting women's rights, they are not always effectively implemented. The number of crimes against women rises as a result of low conviction rates.

PROVISIONS TO SAFEGUARD THE RIGHTS AND INTERESTS OF WOMEN IN INDIA 

❖ CONSTITUTIONAL MEASURES

•        Equal rights and opportunities in the social, economic, and political spheres are granted to men and women under Article 14[xviii] of the Indian Constitution.

•        Article 15[xix] of the Indian Constitution forbids discrimination against any person on the grounds of sex, caste, religion, or race.

•        The Indian Constitution's Article 16[xx] guarantees equal opportunity for employment in the public sector and for appointment to all state offices.

•        The right to equal means of subsistence, equal wages for equal work, and policy security of state equality for both men and women are all outlined in Article 39(a)(d)[xxi] of the Indian Constitution.

 OTHER LEGAL PROVISIONS

•        The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961[xxii]: Under the provisions of this Act demand of dowry either before marriage, during marriage and or after the marriage is an offence. 

•        The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006[xxiii]: This act raises the age for marriage of a girl to 18 years from 15 years and that of a boy to 21 years. 

•        Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005[xxiv]: This Act protects women from any act/conduct/omission/commission that harms, injures or potential to harm is to be considered as domestic violence. It protects the women from physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, psychological, economic abuse.

SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

1.  Changes in society can be achieved if we focus on nullifying crime rates while also creating pressure on conviction.

2.  The implementation of legislation in India at the grassroots level is of utmost importance.

Under every adverse circumstance, the victim must receive justice and an exemplary punishment to be awarded to offender.

3.  There should be a restructuring of police responsiveness, they must be made answerable to the government. It is imperative that law enforcement take further measures to apprehend these offenders and bring them before the legal system.

4.  It is imperative that the younger generation is taught about gender equality. They must be informed that women have contributed significantly to the growth of this nation as well.

5.  Women must be represented in all spheres of society, including the military, politics, finance, administration, and households. They deserve recognition for their efforts.

CONCLUSION 

I've also come to the conclusion that, while we have the ideal laws for those who commit them, we lack the centralized systems necessary to effectively enforce them. Our judicial system and civil defense system have demonstrated how slow they are in identifying criminals, and even if they are located, they are not ready to be found guilty due to the large volume of cases that our courts are handling. It takes a case eight or ten years to get to a judgment date. 

I respect the ladies who are leaving their abusive homes and speaking up against the injustices that have befallen them. We must give them encouragement. The victims of rape, acid attacks, domestic abuse, and sexual harassment are rarely acknowledged in our society. Being separated or divorced is acknowledged to be a social shame. How can the girl be so wrong if she is raising her voice? The crime rate will continue to rise unless and until we modify the way we view these people who have criminal intentions. To ensure that no girl's fundamental human rights are abused, we must teach her about her rights.

REFERENCES

[i] Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

[ii] Guruappa Naidu, Violence Against Women in India 23 (Serials Publications, New Delhi, 2011).

[iii] Sreeparna Chakrabarty, “Are crimes against women on the rise?”, The Hindu, December 10, 2023 available at https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/are-crimes-against-women-on-the-rise-explained/article67622430.ece  (last visited on January 8, 2024).  

[iv] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 359-373, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[v] Government of India, “National Crime Records Bureau Report” (Ministry of Home Affairs, 2022). 6 The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 498A, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[vi] Government of India, “National Crime Records Bureau Report” (Ministry of Home Affairs, 2022). 8 The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 354, 354B, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[vii] Government of India, “National Crime Records Bureau Report” (Ministry of Home Affairs, 2022).

[viii] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India). 11 Government of India, “National Crime Records Bureau Report” (Ministry of Home Affairs, 2022). 

[ix] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 304B, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[x] Sreeparna Chakrabarty, “Are crimes against women on the rise?”, The Hindu, December 10, 2023 available at https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/are-crimes-against-women-on-the-rise-explained/article67622430.ece  (last visited on January 8, 2024).  

[xi] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 326A, 326B, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[xii] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 370, 370A, 372, 373, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[xiii] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 509, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[xiv] The Indian Penal Code, 1860, § 354A, No. 45, Acts of Parliament, 1860 (India).

[xv] Geeta Pandey, “Rising crimes against Indian women in five charts”, BBC News, 13 September 2022 available at <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-62830634> (last visited on January 8, 2024).  

[xvi] Government of India, “National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-3” (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 2005-06).

[xviii] INDIA CONST. art. 14.

[xix] INDIA CONST. art. 15.

[xx] INDIA CONST. art. 16.

[xxi] INDIA CONST. art. 39(a) & (d). 

[xxii] The Dowry (Prohibition) Act, 1961, No. 28, Acts of Parliament, 1961 (India).

[xxiii] The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, No. 6, Acts of Parliament, 2007 (India).

[xxiv] The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, No. 43, Acts of Parliament, 2005 (India).

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