One of the biggest misconceptions around rape is the “other-ing” of both the criminal and the victim — that a “certain” type of man rapes and a “certain” type of woman gets raped (often under “certain” circumstances). The overwhelming complicity of perpetrators in familial positions of power, or those who are known to victims, is grossly understated.
Therefore, sexual assault, most often than not, becomes an under-reported crime not only because of the stigma attached to it and a broken justice system but also because of the additional barriers that a collusion of familial, social power structures, shame and dependency create.
The 2015 National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data on the proximity of offenders to victims (the most recent data available) shows that in 95 percent of all rape cases, the offender knew the victim. For example, 27 percent of rapes are committed by neighbours, 22 percent involves the promise of marriage and 9 percent are committed by immediate family members and relatives. The data further stated that at least two percent of all rape cases involves live-in partners or husbands (former partners or separated husbands — rape within marriage is not recorded), 1.6 percent are committed by employers or co-workers and 33 percent are committed by other known associates.
According to the data collated by the NCRB, Madhya Pradesh with 4,391 cases, Maharashtra with 4,144, Rajasthan with 3,644, Uttar Pradesh with 3,025, Odisha with 2,251 and Delhi with 2,199 recorded the highest number of reported rape cases. However, it must be noted that a lower rape count could mean a lower ‘reported’ rape count. States that do better on other gender parity metrics (literacy rate, sex ratio, workforce participation etc) are likely to see a higher count of reported rapes because more victims try to access the justice system. For example, Kerala reported 1,256 rapes while Bihar reported 1,041 rapes, despite the fact that the population of Bihar is three times the population of Kerala.
The interactive data dashboard breaks down the numbers by national average, state/Union territory and proximity of offenders to victims.
According to RTI data, in 107 days between March 16 and June 30 this year, 76,416 cases of crime against women were reported, while the National Crime Records Bureau data showed 49,262 cases of crime against women were reported in 2016.
The state reported 17,249 cases of outraging of modesty in these three months, while according to NCRB, the state in 2016 had reported 11,335 such cases. Similarly, 21,077 abductions were reported between March and June this year, while there were 12,070 cases of abduction in 2016. Over 5,600 rapes were reported in these three months this year, while in 2016, 4,816 cases were reported. The state also saw 3,435 dowry deaths in just three months, while in 2016 only 2,473 deaths were reported.
Even in child-related crime, state reported 7,018 POCSO cases in three months of 2018, while in 2016 the number of cases were merely 4,816.