Sexual assault is an act in which someone intentionally sexually grasp
another person without their consent, or physically coerces a person against
their will. It is a form of sexual violence which includes rape, marital rape,
human trafficking, and forced prostitution. Sexual assault is a major problem
faced by women and girls in India.
According to a report by Thomson Reuters foundation India ranked 1st in relation
to the world's most dangerous country for women in which US ranked 10. Women
might be worshipped in Indian culture as goddess but look around and see are
women even safe in our country. Because the crimes against women are rapidly
increasing in our country.
One side we are talking our empowering women in our country and on the other
side every third women in India suffers sexual and physical violence in India. I
believe that nearly every women have faced some kind of sexual harassment
whether it may be cruel comments, gestures, threats, or actions etc.
In a country like India were women were called as DEVI now we are using words
like "Maal, item " and etc. it's been 75 years since India got its independence
but did women in India got their rights. Women's and girls in our country still
lack faith in our justice system because 57% cases in India in relation to
sexual assault go unreported.
Let's have a look around types of sexual assault faced by Indian women:
I would firstly like to talk about Rape, in simple words rape is to force
someone to have sex when they are unwilling by using violence or threatening
behavior. It is the fourth most common crime against women in India. Rape is so
common in our country that I believe it's a part of our culture.
According to ncrb 32,033 rape cases took place in India, which translate to a
shocking of 88 rape cases a day. Only 310 out of 1000 sexual assaults are
reported to police that means 2 out of 3 cases go unreported. Because according
to our society we believe the girls and women who faces sexual assault lose
their dignity in spite of the assailers just because of this most of the girls
or women do not register or are not let by their family to register a case
because they believe they will lose their dignity in the society.
Rape cases again internationals have led several countries to issue travel
advisories that women travelers should exercise caution when travelling in
India. One rape was reported in every 16 minutes in India in 2019. this figure
was 15 minutes in 2018.
- Ajmer rape case
- 2012 Delhi rape case
- 2013 Mumbai gang rape
- Ranaghat rape
- Delta meghwal rape case
- Kathua rape case
- Unnao rape case
Jammu and Kashmir: there have been allegations of rape and mass rape in Jammu
and Kashmir. Reports have shown that rape have been carried out by both Indian
armed forces and Islamic militant groups. According to the HRW, the
investigation of cases of rape by Indian forces and militants is difficult
because many Kashmiri's and reluctant to discuss it for the fear of violent
North east : human rights group allege that the Indian armed forces under the
protection of the armed forces (special powers) act, 1958 have misuse their
power and carried out a large amount of rapes in the Nagaland, Assam and Manipur
provinces. Karlsson writes that there are reports that much of the violence
against civilians writes that there are reports that much of the violence
against civilians, including sexual assault, is inflicted by the rebel group and
armed criminal gangs in the region.
Retribution for rape in India: retribution for rape is given in section 376 of
Indian penal code. Except in cases, provided in sub section 2 of the same
section, punishment will be rigorous imprisonment which is not less than 7
years, which may extend to life imprisonment and fine. In April, 2018, it allows
capital punishment for anyone convicted of raping children under the age of 12.
Punishment for rape across the globe:
- Egypt: the rapist is hanged till death.
- Israel: here, rape convict gets 4 years minimum and 16 years maximum
- United Arab Emirates: here also punishment for rape is death.
- China: in China, rape is considered as a brutal crime and death penalty
is awarded to rapist.
- Afghanistan: the rapist is hanged to death or shot dead by a bullet in
the head. The punishment is given within 4 days of crime.
- France : rapist is given 10 years of imprisonment, but if victim dies,
punishment is increased to 30 years.
- Iran: death penalty is granted to rapist.
- Greece: rapist is punished with incarnation.
The term marital rape or referred to as spousal rape refers to unwanted
intercourse by a man on his wife obtained by a man on his wife obtained by
force, threat of force or physical violence or when she is unable to give
consent. In India marital rape is not included in rape and neither it is a
of section 375 states that sexual inter course by a man with his own
wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape. this is based on
the notion that once married, a women does not have the right to refuse sex with
her husband. This gives husband rights to have sexual access over their wives.
Thus, in India marital rape is not a criminal offence it only comes under the
protection of women under from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
rape is an act that humiliates and abuses the women and it also violates the
dignity of the women.
It can be concluded that sexual intercourse without the consent of the wife
comes within the ambit of domestic violence Constitutional law aspect: marital
rape is a non-criminalized criminal offence that is violative of article 14 and
article 21 of the Indian constitution.
Although illegal under Indian law, human trafficking remains a significant
problem in this country. According to estimates human trafficking in India may
affect between 20 and 65 million people. Women's and girls are trafficked within
the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and forced
marriage, especially in those area where the sex ratio is highly skewed in favor
In the Constitution of India, there are quite a many provisions for the
protection of the rights of women and improvement of their conditions.
- Under Art.15(3), the state is empowered to make special provisions for
women and children
- Art.23 prohibits trafficking in human beings and forced labor. It
Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labor are
prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence
punishable in accordance with law.
- Art.39 provides for certain principle of policy to be followed by the
state which among others includes that state should direct its policy
towards securing that men and woman equally, have the right to adequate
means of livelihood, that the health and strength of workers, including men
and women are not abused.
- Art.51A(e) imposes duty on every citizen of India in mandatory form
which says that:
It shall be the duty of every citizen of India, to renounce practices
derogatory to the dignity of women.
Though the legal framework to combat the menace seems to be strong, but in
reality it isn't so.
The reasons are as follows:
- The Act is totally silent on second generation trafficking i.e.,
children of prostitutes, their conditions and upliftment of their position
- It has no provision dealing with cross-border trafficking and other
forms of commercial sexual exploitation.
- It exempts customers from any criminal liability. The law is thus biased
against a prostitute itself.
- It overtly treats a woman in prostitution as an offender under S.7(1)
and 8. Hence, contrary to its declared objectives, these Sections of ITPA
criminalizes woman in prostitution.
- It does not contain proper provisions for rehabilitation of victims.
- In India, another major problem is that the protectors are found to be
exploiters which results in manipulation and misappropriation of records.
Often, it's found that police.
- Officers accept bribes for not reporting cases and to keep silent.
Besides, documentation regarding buying and selling of women and children is
very poor as well.
Forced prostitution occurs when small children or young people are forced into
prostitution for various reasons. In India, where the caste system is more
widespread, the role of caste in forced prostitution has never been thoroughly
studied. Human trafficking and forced prostitution have increased over the past
decade, although exact figures are not known. According to reports and
literature, thousands of caste women and girls are forced into prostitution
The link between caste and forced prostitution is evident in the Devadasi and
Yogini systems practiced in India, which is unfortunate. According to reports
currently there are 20 million commercial prostitutes, in India and around 16
million women and girls are victims of sex trafficking.
Thousands of children, mostly from poor families, are lured or kidnapped by
human traffickers every year and sold to pimps and brothels who turn them into
The Indian government penalizes human trafficking for commercial sexual
exploitation under the Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) with penalties ranging
from seven years to life sentences. India also prohibits debt bondage and forced
labor under the Slave Labor Abolition Act, Child Labor Act and Juvenile Courts
The Indian authorities also use Sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal
Code, which prohibit the kidnapping and sale of minors for prostitution, to
arrest traffickers. The penalties provided for in these laws are up to ten years
imprisonment and a fine. Slave labor and the free movement of sex trafficking
victims can sometimes be facilitated by corrupt officials. They protect brothels
that exploit victims and protect traffickers and brothels from arrests and other
threats by law enforcement.
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