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Crime Against Women: Failure Of Implementation Or Is More Law The Answer?

Various Crimes Against Women:

There is no chance for welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing�. So said Swami Vivekananda by the turn of the present century. He was drawing attention to the fact that about one-half of mankind is suffering from prejudice, discrimination, and oppression in a male-dominated society. Be it Aruna Shanbaug, ShahBano, Mathura, Vishaka or Nirbhaya, the women always suffered more in this patriarchal society.

Phase Type Of Violence Present:

Pre-birth Sex-selective abortion; battering during pregnancy; coerced pregnancy. Infancy Female infanticide; emotional and physical abuse; differential access to food and medical care.

Girlhood Child marriage; genital mutilation; sexual abuse by family members and strangers; differential access to food, medical care and education.

Adolescence Violence during courtship; economically coerced sex; sexual abuse in the workplace; rape; sexual harassment; arranged marriage; trafficking.

Reproductive Age Physical, psychological and sexual abuse by intimate male partners and relatives; forced pregnancies by partner; sexual abuse in the workplace; sexual harassment; rape; abuse of widows, including property grabbing and sexual cleansing practices.

Elderly Abuse of widows, including property grabbing; accusations of witchcraft; physical and psychological violence by younger family members; differential access to food and medical care.

Table 1- Phases in a Woman's Life and all the types of violence she faces during her lifetime. Data as Compiled by WHO and United Nations.
  1. Domestic Violence:

    Domestic Violence is not something new. In earlier times as well, women were treated as animals. Sati-Pratha, Devdashi, Bal-Vivah, all these rituals were anti-woman and were widely followed across India.

    In the earlier period, social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy came forward to cease these crimes, in the modern period this is taken care by the Indian Penal Code as well as the Indian Constitution.

    Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner by abuse which may be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological and includes, harassment, maltreatment, brutality or cruelty and even the threat of assault-intimidation.

    A woman leaves her home to begin her a new life with a lot of aspirations and dreams which are destroyed by her newly wedded husband and family, demolishing her whole life by causing chronic health issues, depression, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, financial crisis and likewise.

    Women have been so degraded and deemed so dependent that they are not in a position of complaining to anyone against their husband and family members due to honor and self-esteem of themselves and their family. One question always remains unanswered whether a woman marries to face violent acts?
  2. Female Infanticide:

    Female infanticide is nothing less than killing an unborn baby because of her gender. It can also be termed as sex-selective abortion. The Indian society has always been living under the perception that sons hold a higher position than daughters. This is the reason that the society has stereotyped girls and perceived them inferior to boys. As per the recent study conducted by the Asian Centre for Human Rights, as high as 11 Crores Female Infanticide cases have taken place in India.

    Moreover, India has been ranked at the 4th position by the United Nations Populations Fund in the year 2016. It is a distressing position for India, a nation where we talk about BetiBachao-BetiPadhao and Women Empowerment and on the other hand we kill our daughters mercilessly. The only question which remains unanswered is that what was the fault of the daughter who was about to take birth of had taken birth?
  3. Dowry Death:

    India has by far the highest number of dowry related deaths in the world according to Indian National Crime Record Bureau. In 2012, 18,233 dowry death cases were reported across India. This means a bride was burned every 90 minutes, or dowry issues cause 1.4 deaths per year per 100,000 women in India.

    Does a women marry to die? Most of the Dowry Deaths occur when a married woman, who by ample of expectations and aspirations enter into a new family of her husband finds all her expectations being shattered and she being subject to continuous violence and harassment from the in laws, husband or other members of the Husband's family in regards to their dissatisfaction in Dowry Receiving.

    She being unable to cope up with mental, physical and emotional fallouts, commits suicide. A woman is also killed by setting her alive on fire by the Husband or his family which is known as Bride Burning.
  4. Rape:

    Rape is one of the most pervasive yet underrecognized human rights violations in the world .It is not merely the physical violation of the body of the victim but an intrusion upon her mental, psychological and emotional sensitivities. It is one of the most heinous crimes which not only affects the victim at the instance of the crime but leads to a prolonged traumatic affect for her life.

    It is a destruction of her pride, security, purity, esteem, dreams which leaves a blot on her whole life. It is also considered as the only crime where the victim becomes the accused and is given differential treatment as if she invited and caused upon herself the derogatory act. It is socially accepted that a woman wouldn't cause her reputation and honor by reporting a crime of sexual assault against herself.

    It has been observed by Indian Courts in various cases that:
    "It not only destroys the physical frame of the body of the victim but also degrades helpless females in the society and public at large. Rape destroys entire psychology of a victim and pushes her into deep emotional crisis."�

    Is the body of a women meant for rape?
  5. Marital Rape:

    Marital rape is any unwanted sexual acts by a spouse or ex-spouse, committed without consent and/or against a person's will, obtained by force, or threat of force, intimidation, or when a person is unable to consent. Plainly stating, forced intercourse within marriage is marital rape. It is the most serious violation of a women's bodily integrity.

    In India it is a socially accepted practice that a woman is not entitled to refuse or say no in the ostensible sacred institution of marriage, no is considered to be a taboo in our society and the woman is considered as the property of the husband. The customary practices bequeath a man an unchallengeable right over a woman's body which sanctions to use violence in cases the demand is not met. It is so believed, rather assumed that a woman consents to everything that happens to her within her marriage once she is tied to this institution.

    Does a marriage mean submission of a human entity to another?
  6. Outraging the Modesty of Women:

    Modesty is at times difficult to define but the Indian Courts have attempted to do the same. The essence of modesty of a woman is sex. Some men consider that the bodies of women are made only for the purpose of being sexually violated and thus they attempt to play with them. The mentality of society is in a fix and it is everywhere reflected at some point or another.

    The point to ponder over is whether can an Indian woman roam over on the streets of her nation freely at night today?
  7. Sexual and Emotional Assault:

    Sexual assault means unwanted sexual contact. It is generally known as molestation. Whereas Emotional assault is threat, continuous criticism, manipulation. The assault need not always be physical. Sexual assault may be of different types i.e. groping, touching inappropriately, stalking etc. whereas Emotional assault may be emotional blackmail, forced prostitution and the like. These assaults may sometimes look trivial or mild but it is not so for some one who may go through the same. At times, it may be almost impossible for someone to understand what a woman goes through when such crimes take place.

    Are women made for playing?
  8. Failure of Implementation:

    Effectiveness Of Laws Almost every Indian Citizen today is thorough with the Fact that India provides for ‘n' number of Laws when it comes to outweighing the Crimes Against Women. However, the Nation still witnesses an increase and that to an exponential increase to quote, in the happening and reporting, or in other words the committing of these Crimes.

An impending question thus arises, as to WHY is this Paradox sustaining and living in the Nation? Generality tells us that higher the number of laws, more will be the Punishments and more the number or intensity of Punishments, lesser will be the Crime Rate. Though, dwelling a little deeper into the mentioned Relation of Proportionality, one may easily figure out that proportion i.e. more laws more punishments fit well into the scenario of India, but the second proportion turns out to be direct rather than an inverse one, i.e. more are the punishments, more are the crimes reported. More punishment, less crime, the theory seems to fade.

Is More Law the Answer? As presented in the above section of the paper, it is easily verifiable and accessible that India already has ample of laws to tackle the Issues of Crimes against Women in greatest possible Accuracy and sophisticated approach, looking into the grievous nature of such Crimes.

The Country contains various Statutory Acts, Dowry Prohibition Act, Sexual Harassment of women at workplace Prohibition Act, etc. and various others as learnt in the previous modules. Other than these acts, the Indian Penal Code is also equipped with many such Sections that provide for stringent punishments for the wrongdoers against women.

It shall further be noted that India contains laws almost at every aspect and field where a woman can be a subject to injustice except Marital Rape. This undoubtedly points out that other than an enactment of law penalizing Marital Rape, the Nation may not need new laws on this Issue. However, the failure of the Laws, despite being in such large numbers, to protect India from being among of the top countries in non-safety of women, can be attributed to the poor implementation of the Existing Laws, rather than the lack of Laws.

More Implementation of The Laws:
The Key Solution When it comes to India, about the effective execution of the laws that prevent crimes against women, it can be seen that such a large number of laws are too unable to curb the rate of such crimes. New Delhi, the National Capital encounters with more than 180 rape cases per month. The question hence arises that what can be a practical approach to deal with such heinous crimes and put them down in numbers.

Talking about India implies we are talking about a Nation which already deals with the burden of a huge pendency of cases, corruption, a prejudiced mindset towards women, a judgmental approach in dealing with complaints by women, a marginally low conviction rate of such crimes, various safeguards in treating the accused and the like.

Has one ever thought that why don't every rape committed against a girl, ends up in committing of another offense of Murder? If India has such high number of laws, then the accused being afraid of them would end up murdering the victim? But this does not happen in majority of the cases.

A woman is raped and left onto the streets naked, without any fear because somewhere in the conscience even the accuse knows that he might be saved either by bribing the officials, or by using his power or Position, and if not, the Proceedings would take so long that he might have completed the term of his Natural Life by then, or he might be acquitted on the grounds of Proving Beyond Reasonable Doubt�.

Disgraceful, but a true practice in India. Looking at the official aspect, we also come up with cases like the one that happened recently in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh where a girl was raped continuously for three hours, by a gang of eve teasers, under a bridge which was located in the Heart of the City. There were two aspects of this case- first which publishes the social reality and growing insensitivity of the people towards such crimes. Is it even practical or possible that a girl being raped near the road located in the heart of the city, goes unnoticed by every passerby? Or did they choose to ignore the crime that was taking place?

It is obvious that the second one prevailed. The Second truth reflecting attitude of the bureaucrats comes into picture by the insensitive and illegitimate remark (We see such story and moviemaking every day) made by the police official at the time when the victim, who was already suffering from immeasurable pain and agony, came with her father to register complaints against the wrongdoers.

What do these faces tell us?
The one that comprises of the Population and the other that comprises of the controller of such population, in this case did nothing but re assured the Nation that ours is a society which is radically Patriarchal, where a woman is bound to suffer even for her basic needs and rights, and where we follow an approach of judging the victims not the accused. No matter what the government did afterwards, the root problem lied in the lower social and practical level, which is akin to the various laws made but problem actually lying at the roots.

The other setback that the Nation Faces is the strict interpretation of laws even in the cases which are of heinous nature. Few such case including that of The State v. Raju Thapa, where the accused teacher who was charged with the offence of Raping his Minor Student was acquitted on grounds of not proved beyond reasonable doubt despite of the presence of clear video tapes.

The Case of Aruna Shanbaug, where the victim of rape, after fighting for 13 long years with comma, succumbed to injuries without the accused being punished and the infamous Nirbhaya Case where she died and the Juvenile who was the most monstrous actor of the case is a cook today, speak volumes about the present flaws in implementation of such laws, which completely follow a strict procedure neutralizing the gravity of offences.

Summing Up The different types of crimes taking place against women in India. They are increasing at a very steady place and it is known to all. It is certainly a pity that we know that these crimes happen every day and at every point but are unable to stop the same. It is doubted as to whether is India a safe place for women.

A nation can only become developed when every citizen feels safe and secure but is it so for India? Being a patriarchal society India faces a huge biasness against women and consider them to be an object of interest, which results in drastic and horrifying crimes against them.

Despite of the various laws present to tackle the issue; a prejudiced mindset and poor implementation turn out to be obstacles in receiving Justice. There lie various measures to achieve the end but that can only be done by united efforts of Society, Bureaucrats, Judiciary and most of all the Mindset of all of them taken together. It must be ensured that we live in a country where a woman can walk without fear at roads, where she can live in harmony with her family and where her tears are not subdued.

Concluding with the words present in Article 21 of the nation's Constitution, 'No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law '

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