Violence Against Women in India
Andhra Pradesh and Delhi have a special place in annals of crimes against women in India in recent times. If we are to take a look at the statistics provided by the National Crime Records Bureau, Andhra Pradesh has figured consistently in 2008, 2009 and 2010 as the state with highest incidences of crime against women; and Delhi, similarly has figured as the city with highest incidences of crime against women in the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Let me restate the figures and illustrate just a few preliminary findings.
Andhra Pradesh: Collated statistics for 2008-2010 A total of 76, 924 incidents of crime against women have been recorded from 2008-2010. This is the highest in India for a state and Andhra Pradesh topped this dubious list each consecutive year for three years till 2010. 2011 statistics are awaited. As per categories of crime, crime against women constitutes the second or third largest category in crimes in Andhra Pradesh. A total of 3,807 cases of rape have been recorded for the same period, which constitutes 4. 4% of total incidence of crime against women. A total of 14,511 cases of molestation have been recorded for the same period, which constitutes 18. 86% of total incidence of crime against women. A total of 11,633 cases of sexual harassment (eve-teasing) have been recorded for the same period, which constitutes 15. 12% of total incidence of crime against women. Rapes, molestations and sexual harassment (eve-teasing) constituted 38. 93% of crimes against women in Andhra Pradesh in 2008-2010.
Women in the age group of 18-30 years were most vulnerable to rape, followed by the women in age group of 14-18 years. In all the 3,807 rape cases that had been recorded in Andhra Pradesh between 2008-2010, the offenders were known to the victims. The picture in Karnataka is better, with 18. 2% of married women in this age group being subjected to physical violence, 3. 2% to sexual assault and 6. 9% to emotional domestic violence. But the Bihar story is horrifying where the percentage of physical violence is as high as 56%.
Tamil Nadu is at a close second with 40. 2%. The number of cases registered under Protection of Women From Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005, has increased to 7,802 in 2009 from 5,643 in 2008. Andhra Pradesh registered 2,710 cases under the DV act, the highest in any state in 2009. The NFHS-3 has further stated: “81% of married women between 15 and 49 years, who have experienced physical or sexual violence from husbands, have for the first time faced it within five years of marriage. ” Being slapped is the most common form of physical violence that married women experience. Of 35% married women subjected to any form of physical violence, 97% were slapped and 1% of them experienced life- threatening violence in the form of being choked or burned or being threatened or attacked with a weapon,” the study said. Union minister for women and child welfare Krishna Tirath recently proposed the idea of training first-class judicial and metropolitan magistrates on how to deal with cases filed under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.