“It is not just women who are paying an enormous price for this culture and religious prejudice. We all suffer when women and girls are abused and their needs are neglected. By denying them security and opportunity, we embed unfairness in our society and fail to make the most of the talents of half the population” – The Global Elders (2009)
Conceptually or mentally, the phrase refers to any injury that directly or indirectly causes physical or emotional harm to females. Offences that are specifically aimed towards women and where only females are victims are defined as “crimes against women”. “Crime against women implies actual or indirect physical or emotional abuse to women. Women are exposed to multiple types of criminal misery, such as eve-teasing, stalking, bigamy, fraudulent marriage, and temptation of married women, abduction and kidnap, rape, harassment of women at Workplace, beating of the wife, death of the dowry, rape of the girl child and rape of the child, Older girl, etc.”
Every other woman has developed tolerance and has endured the sensation that she is treated poorly, trivialised, held hidden, neglected, assaulted, joked or discriminated just because of their gender. As it is stated that women is most prone to crime when she is a adult and between the age of 20-30 years, but there is no fix age of it. Women and girls are at risk at every stage of their life and they go through different forms of violence at every stage of their life. Like at the pre-birth stage of the women, many women abort the girl child in the country like India, because in many parts of India girl child is still considered as burden on the future of the family. Even though there are too many provisions, regulations and services of general knowledge, women are subject to unequal and discriminatory treatment in all aspects of life and, in particular, jobs in which they are not adequately paid and are therefore economically disadvantaged in Indian culture. At the formative years of the women they go ignorance through every aspect of their life like mental, physiological, healthcare, education. Basically in the rural India, people look after the boy as they considered them as the asset and considered girl as a burden. Even as the child women go through so much. At a time when women are young, due to a number of reasons, including constant ignorance, women are being exploited as a consequence of heinous acts, such as child trafficking and prostitution, by some twisted social factors as a lucrative industry dispersed across the world, both for work and sex, in order to satisfy their self-serving desires. Even after the implication of child labour act, 1986, it did not affect the brutal acts of those who are involves in heinous crime like child trafficking and etc. After this point, “the teenage years of women” are coming. In puberty, a humiliating form of violence or slavery is perpetrated against women in the context of “prostitution, trafficking, early marriage”, crimes against women, etc. This is the moment that they become adults who are able to grasp socioeconomic slavery and acknowledge this inequality, either compelled to choose prostitution or unintentionally abused sex. At procreative age, women face unconsensual abortions, forced childbirth, delayed unwanted pregnancy, and resistance to domestic violence. In addition, they are often emotionally, mentally and physically abused by an abusive partner or a non-partner at this point. She commits murder as a result of not fixing her acts of terror. At the age of the old, she appears to be fragile due to lack of participation in the workplace. As a result, they are ignored and exploited again.
Thus, “the history of women life is a garland of stigma or misery”. Crime against women is increasing at a rapid rate worldwide. The legal opportunities available do not minimise the high rate of sexual and other abuse against women and children, as statistics of such cases have risen. Law enforcement at the police level is very inefficient and unsuccessful. In a western world where we speak of civilised democracy, women’s rights and empowerment, the rate of violence against women is rising increasingly every day.
Classification of Crime:-
1. RAPE:- Supreme Court of India, though expressing its worry about the most notorious ad heinous Crime of rape observed
“Rape is a crime not only against the person of a woman; it is a crime against the entire society. It destroys the entire psychology of a woman and pusher her into deep emotional crisis Rapes is therefore the most hated crime. It is a crime against basic human rights and is violation of the victims most cherished rights, namely right of life which includes right to live with human dignity contained in Article 21. Rape for a woman is deathless shame and must be dealt with as a gravest against human dignity; it is violation with violence on the private person of a woman.”
“§ 375, 376, 376-A to 376-D” are related to the offence of rape. Rape is India’s fastest-growing crime relative to murder , theft and kidnapping. “According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report , two women are raped every 60 minutes in this region
. There are several forms of rape,
- Custodial rape-This kind of rape has become more punishable than the rape committed by another male who has no custody of a woman.
- Rape on a pregnant woman-Rape on a pregnant woman it’s sort of incest. Where rape has been committed by an individual. It is extreme in nature for a pregnant woman of any age, so it is included in many definitions of abuse.
- Rape on a child under the age of 12-Raping a girl under the age of 12 is a heinous kind of rape and is against society as a whole. The defeat of humanitarian aid should not occur. It is the responsibility of any member of society to avoid this kind of violence.
- Sexual rape-Gang rape is also a horrific form of rape. Where a woman is Rape is perpetrated by one or more individuals in a group of persons acting in service of their shared purpose, each of whom is known to have perpetrated gang rape.
- Spouse rape-Sexual intercourse between a man and his wife is not rape if the wife is over 15 years of age. Where a woman is under 15 years of age but over 12 years of age and her husband has sexual intercourse, it is rape.”
If we want to file a lawsuit against someone on the basis that he raped any women, then a lawyer has to prove that the person raped her “against her will or without her consent”.
In Dileep Singh v. State of Bihar the SC observed that:-
“the will and consent often interlace and an act done against the will of the person can be said to be an act done without consent, the Indian Penal Code categorizes these two expressions under separate heads in order to as comprehensive as possible.”
“In the rape case, it is held by the supreme court that the court shall presume that the victim did not consent to the sexual intercourse”. In Deepak v. State of Haryana cited Section 114-A of the Indian Evidence Act. It is:-
“In a prosecution for rape under sub-section (2) of section 376 of the IPC, where sexual intercourse by the accused is proved and the question is whether it was without the consent of the woman alleged to have been raped and such woman states in her evidence before the court. That she did not consent, the court shall presume that she did not consent.”
Section 376 deals with the punishment of rape and Section 376 (2)(G) defines the Gang Rape. It is inhumane thing to do, Rape is not just against a girl or her family, but against the whole society. The Hon’ble Supreme court in Pushpanjali Sahu v. State of Orissa, has held that :-
“Sexual violence is not only an unlawful invasion of the right of privacy and sanctity of a woman but also a serious blow to her honour. It leaves a traumatic and humiliating impression on her conscience, offending her self-esteem and dignity, rape as not only a crime against the person of a woman, but a crime against the entire society. It indelibly leaves a scar on the most cherished possession of a woman i.e. her dignity, honour, reputation and not the least her chastity. It destroys the entire psychology of a woman and pushes her into deep emotional crisis”.
2. KIDNAPPING AND ABDUCTION:-
While Indian legislation bans abduction and kidnapping, more than 100,000 cases of abduction and kidnapping have occurred in India since 2005. Individuals have been ready to take benefit of the young age of minors and kidnap to exploit them to compel them to perform horrible acts. Such crimes are a violation of civil dignity and democracy and must be stopped. “Section 359 to 374” of IPC provides punishments to these types of offences. Kidnapping in its broadest sense happens when a victim is taken away by coercion or deception with the intention of manipulating the abduction. “It is further divided into two categories under Section 359 which are:
a) Kidnapping from India (Section 360)
b) Kidnapping from lawful guardianship (Section 361)”.
Abduction is defined u/s 362 i.e. “if a person causes another person to move from one place to another or induces a person to move from one place to another, crime of abduction is committed”. In a more limited way, it is often limited to female relationships, concubines, or trafficking. In the case of Thakorilal D. Vadgama v. the State of Gujarat, it was held that
” Section 366 of the IPC seeks to protect a minor child from being seduced to illicit activities and so any kind of inducement or enticing which brings the minor out of the keeping of their guardian will be considered as kidnapping. Hence, a minor’s acceptance to leave her parents and having intercourse with kidnappers is not enough to absolve the person from liability”.
In the case of the State of Haryana v. Raja Ram, it was held that
“keeping under section 361 connotes the idea of charge, maintenance, protection and control. It was also held that the consent of minors is immaterial and lawful guardian is a wider term as compared to legal guardian”.
Since 2002, the amount of “kidnappings and abductions” of women and young girls has risen by 163.8%. “Serious offences or offences under the Indian Penal Code ( IPC) have risen by about 34 per cent during the last 10 years, to around 1.7 million in 2002 to 2.4 million in 2012. In a yearly basis, violent incidents jumped by 3% relative to the prior year’s 2.3 million”. In 44% of cases involving the kidnapping or abduction of females, the cause was not specified.
The highest number of people kidnapped or abducted was between 18 and 30 years of age (21,924 people) and between 16 and 18 years (20,838 victims). Child prostitution is also rampant in many parts of India. According to ChildLine India, “more than 40,000 children are abducted last year”. Unfortunately, about 11,000 of these incidents remain untracked. New Delhi has an especially massive amount of kidnappings in India. “The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that their share in total crimes against women nearly doubled from 10% in 2001 to 19% in 2016.”
3. DOWRY DEATH:- Dowry continues to be the primary justification for sexism and inequality against women in India. If the demands of the dowry are not fulfilled, the young bride will have significant repercussions. The “Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961” represents the first effort by the Government of India to recognise dowry as the evil activity and to put a stop to its activity. It is crazy, though, to see that even amongst all highly educated people sections, dowry online articles are proudly displayed in marriage as a sign of prestige. Dowry violence is on the rise in India. Dowry is one of the social sins that no trained woman is proud to own, and many nevertheless stick to it.
In 2016, over than 7.1 thousand registered cases of dowry death in India. This was a steady decline from 2014, with a figure of about 8.5 thousand and a decline to 7,000 in 2018. Even if the cases of Dowry are gradually decreasing, it does not mean that there’s no women out there who is not suffering because of this. “It is also shown that, as further strain is being placed on the bridesmaid’s parents, their dear daughter has no other choice but to commit suicide in order to prevent more insults and abuse at the mercy of the members of her husband’s family, however, when the deaths are caused by the burning of the bride, the evidence itself is generally lost in flames.”
4. SEXUAL HARRASSMENT:- Sexual assault happens where the intent or result of unwelcome behaviour is to abuse the privacy of an individual and to create a threatening, aggressive, disrespectful, embarrassing or offensive atmosphere for an individual. It may take the form of acts, movements, spoken or written sentences, photographs, etc. It can include text messages, e-mails, phone calls or other electronic or social media interactions. “Sexual assault should include giving special care in return for sexual desires. Crucial to efforts to prevent sexual harassment seems to be the rapidly increasing recognition of sexual harassment as a form of violence towards women that also violates women’s human rights.”
“A 2005 report by the International Labour Organization indicates that sexual harassment is more prevalent against women who are more vulnerable, such as young women, separated, widowed or divorced women, women employed in non-traditional or male-dominated professions, women working in informal sectors of the economy, or migrant workers.”
5. Molestation:- Section 354 deals with offence of Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty –
“Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
The Supreme Court in Raju Pandurang Mahale v. State of Maharashtra has defined what constitutes an outrage to female modesty. The apex court observed that “the essence of a woman’s modesty is her sex”. In Ram Kripal v. State of Madhya Pardesh, The Supreme Court observed that the essential ingredients of offence under Section 354 IPC are:
(a) That the assault must be on a woman.
(b) That the accused must have used criminal force on her.
(c) That the criminal force must have been used on the woman intending thereby to outrage her modesty.
Incidents of assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty in the country have increased by 56.0% during 2013 over the previous year (45,351 cases). Madhya Pradesh has reported the highest incidence (8,252 cases) followed by Maharashtra (8,132 cases), amounting to 11.7% and 11.5% of total such incidences. Delhi UT has reported the highest crime rate (40.0) as compared to the national average of 11.9 and the cases of modesty against women are still increasing at very alarming rate.
There are also other major crimes against women which are increasing at alarming rate and it can decrease when the society will make effort to reduce the crime.
 Shakthe Sharavana, CRIME AGAINST WOMEN – AN INDIAN SCENARIO, 45-51 (2015).
 Amended by Criminal Law (Amendment ) Act, 2013 (13 of 2013), §. 26
 Penal Code, §362.
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