Violence against women in India
||This article needs to be updated. (March 2016)|
Violence against women has become a prominent topic of discussion in India in recent years. Politicians and media have placed great focus on the issue due to continuously increasing trends during 2008–2012.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, reported incidents of crime against women increased 6.4% during 2012, and a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes. In 2012, there were 244,270 reported incidents of crime against women, while in 2011, there were 228,650 reported incidents. Of the women living in India, 7.5% live in West Bengal where 12.7% of the total reported crime against women occurs. Andhra Pradesh is home to 7.3% of India's female population and accounts for 11.5% of the total reported crimes against women.
65% of Indian men believe women should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together, and women sometimes deserve to be beaten. In January 2011, the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) Questionnaire reported that 24% of Indian men had committed sexual violence at some point during their lives.
A dowry deaths is a murder or suicide of a married woman caused by a dispute over her dowry. In some cases, husbands and in-laws will attempt to extort a greater dowry through continuous harassment and torture which sometimes results in the wife committing suicide.
The majority of these suicides are done through hanging, poisoning or self-immolation. When a dowry death is done by setting the woman on fire, it is called bride burning. Bride burning murder is often set up to appear to be a suicide or accident. Dowry is illegal in India, but it is still common practice to give expensive gifts to the groom and his relatives at weddings which are hosted by the family of the bride.
Women are not always the only primary victims of dowry deaths. In some cases children are also killed alongside their mothers. In eastern India, on January 30, 2014, for example, a women and her one-year-old child were burned alive for dowry. 77 minutes. Incidents of dowry deaths have decreased 4.5% from 2011 to 2012.
|Year||Reported dowry deaths|
An honour killing is a murder of a family member who has been considered to have brought dishonour and shame upon the family Examples of reasons for honour killings include the refusal to enter an arranged marriage, committing adultery, choosing a partner that the family disapproves of, and becoming a victim of rape. Honour killings are rooted to tradition and cannot be justified by any major world religion, because none of the major world religions condone honour-related crimes.
The most prominent areas where honour killings occur in India are northern regions. Honour killings are especially seen in Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. Honour killings have notably increased in some Indian states which has led to the Supreme Court of India, in June 2010, issuing notices to both the Indian central government and six states to take preventative measures against honour killings.
Honour killings can be very violent. For example, in June 2012, a father chopped off his 20-year-old daughter's head with a sword in pure rage upon hearing that she was dating a man who he did not approve of. Honour killings can also be openly supported by both local villagers and neighbouring villagers. This was the case in September 2013, when a young couple who married after having a love affair were brutally murdered.
Female infanticide is the elected killing of a newborn female child or the termination of a female fetus through sex-selective abortion. In India, there is incentive to have a son, because they offer security to the family in old age and are able to conduct rituals for deceased parents and ancestors. In contrast, daughters are considered to be a social and economic burden. An example of this is dowry. The fear of not being able to pay an acceptable dowry and becoming socially ostracised can lead to female infanticide for poorer.
Female foeticide is the elected abortion of a fetus, because it is female. Female foeticide occurs when a family has a strong preference for sons over daughters, which is a common cultural theme in India. Modern medical technology has allowed for the gender of a child to be determined while the child is still a fetus. Once these modern prenatal diagnostic techniques determine the gender of the fetus, families then are able to decide if they would like to abort based on gender. If they decide to abort the fetus after discovering it is female, they are committing female feoticide. The foetal sex determination and sex-selective abortion by medical professionals is now a R.s 1,000 crore (US$244 million) industry.
The Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994 (PCPNDT Act 1994) was modified in 2003 in order to target medical professionals. The Act has proven ineffective due to the lack of implementation. Sex-selective abortions have totaled approximately 4.2-12.1 million from 1980-2010. There was a greater increase in the number of sex-selective abortions in the 1990s than the 2000s. Poorer families are responsible for a higher proportion of abortions than wealthier families. Significantly more abortions occur in rural areas versus urban areas when the first child is female.
Rape is one of the most common crimes against women in India. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 defines rape as penile and non-penile penetration in bodily orifices of a woman by a man, without the consent of the woman. In India, a woman is raped every 29 minutes. Incidents of reported rape increased 3% from 2011 to 2012. Incidents of reported incest rape increased 46.8% from 268 cases in 2011 to 392 cases in 2012.
Victims of rape are increasingly reporting their rapes and confronting the perpetrators. Women are becoming more independent and educated, which is increasing their likelihood to report their rape.
Although rapes are becoming more frequently reported, many go unreported or have the complaint files withdrawn due to the perception of family honour being compromised. Women frequently do not receive justice for their rapes, because police often do not give a fair hearing, and/or medical evidence is often unrecorded which makes it easy for offenders to get away with their crimes under the current laws.
Increased attention in the media and awareness among both Indians and the outside world is both bringing attention to the issue of rape in India and helping empower women to report the crime. After international news reported the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus that occurred in Delhi, in December 2012, Delhi experienced a significant increase in reported rapes. The number of reported rapes nearly doubled from 143 reported in January–March 2012 to 359 during the three months after the rape. After the Delhi rape case, Indian media has committed to report each and every rape case.
Marital rape can be classified into one of three types:
- Battering rape: This includes both physical and sexual violence. The majority of marital rape victims experience battering rape.
- Force-only rape: Husbands use the minimum amount of force necessary to coerce his wife.
- Compulsive or obsessive rape: Torture and/or "perverse" sexual acts occur and are often physically violent.
Gang rape is defined as the rape of an individual by two or more perpetrators. The 2012 Delhi gang rape brought a lot of international attention to the issue of gang rape in India. On 16 December 2012, in Munirka, New Delhi, a 23-year-old was beaten and gang raped on a private bus. She died 13 days later. Following the rape, there was widespread national and international coverage of the incident as well as public protests against the government of India and the government of Delhi.
Insult to modestyEdit
|Year||Assaults with intent to outrage modesty||Insults to the modesty of women|
Modesty-related violence against women includes assaults on women with intent to outrage her modesty and insults to the modesty of women. From 2011 to 2012, there was a 5.5% increase in reported assaults on women with intent to outrage her modesty. Madhya Pradesh had 6,655 cases, accounting for 14.7% of the national incidents. From 2011 to 2012, there was a 7.0% increase in reported insults to the modesty of women. Andhra Pradesh had 3,714 cases, accounting for 40.5% of the national accounts, and Maharashtra had 3,714 cases, accounting for 14.1% of the national accounts.
Human trafficking and forced prostitutionEdit
|Year||Imported girls from foreign countries||Violations of the Immoral Traffic Act|
From 2011 to 2012, there was a 26.3% decrease in girls imported to India from another country. Karnataka had 32 cases, and West Bengal had 12 cases, together accounting for 93.2% of the total cases nationwide.
From 2011 to 2012, there was a 5.3% increase in violations of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956. Tamil Nadu had 500 incidents, accounting for 19.5% of the total nationwide, and Andhra Pradesh had 472 incidents, accounting for 18.4% of the total nationwide.
Domestic violence is abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as dating, marriage, cohabitation or a familial relationship. Domestic violence is also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV). Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, verbal, economic and sexual abuse. Domestic violence can be subtle, coercive or violent. In India, 70% of women are victims of domestic violence.
38% of Indian men admit they have physically abused their partners. The Indian government has taken measures to try to reduce domestic violence through legislation such as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.
|Year||Reported cruelty by a husband or relative|
Every 9 minutes, a case of cruelty is committed by either of husband or a relative of the husband. Cruelty by a husband or his relatives is the greatest occurring crime against women. From 2011 to 2012, there was a 7.5% increase in cruelty by husbands and relatives. In West Bengal, there were 19,865 cases, accounting for 18.7% of the national total, and in Andhra Pradesh, there were 13,389 cases, accounting for 12.6% of the national total. However the point to be noted here is that the Section 498a, which is called the anty dowry law is the most misused law in India. Many of these cases filed against men using 498a are false and no actions are usually taken against women even if they are proven wrong. This is one of the major factors for married Men's suicide in India which comes to 1 in every 9 minutes.
Forced and child marriageEdit
Girls are vulnerable to being forced into marriage at young ages, suffering from a double vulnerability: both for being a child and for being female. Child brides often do not understand the meaning and responsibilities of marriage. Causes of such marriages include the view that girls are a burden for their parents, and the fear of girls losing their chastity before marriage.
Acid throwing, also called an acid attack, a vitriol attack or vitriolage, is a form of violent assault used against women in India. Acid throwing is the act of throwing acid or an alternative corrosive substance onto a person's body "with the intention to disfigure, maim, torture, or kill." Acid attacks are usually directed at a victim's face which burns the skin causing damage and often exposing or dissolving bone. Sulfuric acid and nitric acid are most commonly used for acid attacks. Hydrochloric acid is also used, but is less damaging. Acid attacks can lead to permanent scarring, blindness, as well as social, psychological and economic difficulties.
The Indian legislature has regulated the sale of acid. Compared to women throughout the world, women in India are at a higher risk of being victims of acid attacks. At least 72% of reported acid attacks in India have involved women. India has been experiencing an increasing trend of acid attacks over the past decade.
In 2010, there was a high of 27 reported cases of chemical assaults. Scholars believe that acid attacks in India are being under-reported. 34% of acid attacks in India have been determined to be related to rejection of marriage or refusal by a women of sexual advances. 20% of acid attacks have been determined to be related to land, property, and/or business disputes. Acid attacks related to marriage are often spurred by dowry disagreements.
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