The situation couldn’t be grimmer, as far as women in the national capital are concerned. A note from the home ministry has admitted that on an average over 40 cases of crimes against women are registered daily by Delhi Police, of which four happen to be rape. Statistically, doom and gloom stare women in their faces, with the Centre itself declaring that there has been a fifteen per cent increase in the number of rape, molestation and other sexual crimes against women, even though the laws have been toughened up.
In a written communication to the Rajya Sabha, home ministry has said that even though women are more forthcoming in registering the cases of sexual violence and rape, and although there are more women cops on the road to attend to law and order situations in the national capital region, the menace of sexual violence seems to never go south. There is a systemic deficit as far as women’s safety is concerned, even though there are more policemen on the streets and definitely a stronger legal structure to help women in their struggle for equality. Yet much remains to be done, given the data just released by the central government. Surely, it cannot be done by simply increasing policing of localities or filling up jails with sex offenders, mostly from migrant working classes.
No amount of socio-economic reasoning can compensate for the daily battle waged against women from all walks of life. Whether they are young urban professionals or housewives in remote villages, itinerant industrial workers or girl children barely ten years of age, women are being targeted both inside and outside their homes. Cases of domestic violence have not reduced. The number of rape cases, particularly rape of children as young as two or three years of age, has actually increased at an unprecedented level.
Crimes such as rape, kidnapping, sexual harassment, trafficking, molestation, physical abuse, dowry related cruelty and violence, abetment of suicide happen to be some of the countless varieties of crimes that women face every day. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 2013 saw number of rape cases rising by 35.2 per cent to 33,707 across the country, with Delhi contributing to as many as 1,441 cases itself. No wonder then that the national capital has been described as both the ‘rape capital’ and ‘shame city’, yet it refuses to change its ways.