Rape is a highly gendered violent behavior whereas the majority of the
sexually violent perpetrators are men and the majority of their victims are
women. Rape, the most common form of violence against women has been a part of
human culture and is a profound violation of woman's bodily integrity and can be
a form of torture. The subject of rape comprises more than the actual physical
act as it involves many factors such as law and customs, social and political
events and so on. While the physical reality of rape has been unchanged over
time and place however, the perceptions, ideas and laws about rape have changed.
Violent crimes directed towards women such as rape poses serious
violations of human rights. The advocates of women's rights have been able to
put pressure on governments by placing gender-based violence in human rights
framework to fulfill government's obligations under international human rights
law to punish and prevent such violence. However, despite a substantial number
of contraventions, rape still exists in some form, filling the lives of women
with pain and terror from which some might never recover. 
The word rape is derived from Latin rapio
which means to snatch,
hence it literally means a forcible seizure and this element is a characteristic
feature of the offence. It may be defined in the narrow terms as ravishment of
a woman without her consent by force, fear or fraud
or as the carnal
knowledge of woman by force and against her will
Taking the broader view, Susan Brownmiller has described rape as
sexual invasion of the body by force, an incursion into the private, personal
inner sense without consent, in short an internal assault from one of the
several avenues and by one of the several methods. It constitutes a deliberate
violation of emotional, physical and rational integrity and is a hostile
degrading act of violence.
In words of Nicholans A. Groth, rape is a pseudo
sexual act, a pattern of social behaviour that is more concerned with status,
hostility, control and dominance than sexual pleasure or sensual satisfaction
Rape is the act of sexual intercourse which is committed upon the
force towards a woman to have sexual intercourse. There are six situations in
which rape can be said to have been committed. There was no sexual intercourse
against her will, therefore, no sexual intercourse without her consent. No
sexual intercourse with her consent which was obtained by putting her in fear of
death or of hurt and all the evidence shows that she was not un-willing for the
sexual intercourse. In a case  rape of blind give of absence of violence or
stiff resistance may even suggest helpless surrender due to sheer timidly and
would not amount to consent. To constitute rape there must be some penetration
of the female genital track by the penis and if there is no penetration by the
penis, then the charge of rape is not brought out. The state of mind which is
agreeable to the act of sexual intercourse is relevant. The consent must pan the
test of section 90 of IPC. 
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 pushes her into deep emotional crises. It is a crime against basic human
rights. Rape is the ultimate violation of the self. It is a humiliating and
traumatic event in a woman's life, which leads to a fear for existence and a
state of powerlessness. Rape can be the most terrifying event in a woman's life.
The fear of rape affects all women. It inhibits their actions and limits their
freedom, influencing the life as a whole. Right from the childhood, the fear of
rape is infused in every woman in the society, which conditions the personality
of the woman and her choices regarding her conduct. There is no typical rape
or conversely, every woman is a typical rape victim - old women, little
girls, women in wheelchairs, lesbians, virgins, women of every race and class
are raped. 
Various types of rapes
Gang Rape: Under Section 376(2) (g) it contemplates gang rape. When it is
established that the accused person had acted in concert and entered the house
of victim and there after raped one victim, then all of them can be held guilty
u/s 376 IPC. It is not necessary that the prosecution should adduce clinching
proof of a completed act of Rape by each one of the accused on the victim or
each one of the victims where there is more than one.  Where the accused were
two in number and were guilty of the offence of committing rape they would come
without the mischief of definition of Rape. 
The accused persons raped a girl of their own village and caste
turns by turn. She made no complaint to anybody on the expectation that one of
the rapist had agreed to marry her but on his refusal FIR, was lodged after 7
days on Persuasion and pressure of her parents and Session Judge convicted the
accused u/s 376. However, on appeal the High Court acquitted the accused on the
ground that there was large number of infirmities in prosecution evidence, with
the result the story of gang rape was of most suspicious and doubtful character.
The prosecution case that seven person named in the FIR trespassed
on the house armed with deadly weapons and took away informant's younger sister
who later was raped, but the informant said in-chief that he could recognized
only two and that two by their voice. Identification by voice is a very weak
piece of evidence. It was held offence of gang rape was not proved. 
The accused persons forcibly pushed the prosecutrix inside the car,
took her to the tubewell of one accused, kept her there for whole day and whole
night and raped her twice one by one in turn. The delay in filing the FIR was
property explained, testimony of prosecutrix was creditable and it could not be
disbelieved on the ground that she did not complain to lady teachers or her
classmates  accused are convicted.
The girl between 15 & 17 years of age was abducted and raped by four
accused persons but the victim girl very clearly testified in the court that she
was raped by only one accused persons but the victim girl very clearly testified
in the court that she was raped by only one accused and on the basis of her
witness as corroborated by medical evidence the trial court convicted them but
High Court while upholding the conviction reduced the sentence to the period
already undergone. On appeal the Supreme Court setting aside the order of the
High Court held the accused concerned guilty u/s 376 and awarded him
imprisonment for 5 years and u/s 366 and 342 all accused persons were ordered to
suffer imprisonment for a period of 5 years and one year respectively. 
Two accused person committed rape on 13 years girl whose testimony
corroborated by medical evidence was found reliable and cogent. The accused were
caught and arrested on spot by witness who had reached there on hearing the
cries of the prosecutrix. Accused were found guilty and sentenced of ten years
R.1 awarded to then was found proper. 
In another gang rape case a lady was alleged to have been gang raped
but no traces of rape could be discovered by the medical examination conducted
after 3 days. It was held that other evidence was sufficient to prove the guilt
and accused was convicted. 
The accused had caught hold of the victim and committed rape on her
one after another in a lonely place but matter was reported by prosecutrix after
a gap of 14 days due to threat and fear of the accused persons. The injuries
caused on the person of the prosecutrix and tear of hymen were lending support
to prosecution story regarding forcible assault and rape on the prosecutrix It
was held that conviction of accused was proper. 
Even if a woman is immoral
character each person's committing sexual intercourse would be guilty of offence
Eight accused person raped a girl twice turn by turn and had pushed
the girl out of the running train but no serious injury was found on her person.
The evidence showed that there was possibility of prosecutrix going with accused
willingly and involving the accused falsely with ulterior motive and there were
other infirmities also. 
The accused were alleged to have gang raped the victim girl of minor
age and evidence showed that when one man was committing rape the others used to
catch hold of her hands and they had kept the girl confined in a house from
where she was recovered and accused were arrested. The plea of two accused that
they had not committed the rape was not accepted as in gang rape cases all are
held guilty even if some of them did not commit the rape at all. 
Where the evidence of prosecutrix was corroborated by the medical
evidence and injuries on private part of the victim were found severe. The
accused had taken under advantage of situation when the prosecutrix was alone in
the house. Hence they deserved no leniency is sentence.  It was held in a
case  that if one of the accused in furtherance of the common intention to
all has committed rape the offence of gang rape is complete.
In another gang rape case the prosecutrix testified that accused
took her to field and raped her turn by turn and her evidence was corroborated
by medical  evidence. It is held that conviction of accused and fine was
In Lai Babu Shah
 case the girl was allured by the accused and
was, thereafter, gang raped inside the mill premises where she subsequently
died. The evidence of father of deceased was corroborated by the medical and
other evidences and conviction of accused was held proper. When the medical
opinion does not conclusively establish the sexual intercourse, the testimony of
the victim has to be examined with great circumspection and care. In Gang Rape
if the corroborative evidence of victim is trustworthy the court need not look
for other evidences to conclude that rape has been committed or not on her as
held in Bittu case and Biram Lai case. 
It is an aggravated form of Rape calling for a sentence than
ordinary rape. Custodial rape may be committed when he commits rape within the
jurisdiction of the police station where he has been appointed or in the
premises of any police station house or when the victim is in his custody or in
the custody of a police subordinate to him u/s 21 IPC. The word Public
in defined Custodial rape
may be committed when the offender is a
public servant, it may also be committed by any person on the management or on
the staff of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or
under any law for women or children. It is also committed by one on the
management or on the staff of the hospital who does commit the rape taking
advantage of his official position as such on a woman in the hospital. 
In Ram Kumar, Nain Singh v/s State of Himachal Pradesh
 the prosecutrix was forcibly taken to police station where she was raped by the
Constable with the assistance being provided by his colleague. The evidence of
prosecutrix was reliable and local people had seen prosecutrix being led to
police station by accused constable. It was held that conviction of accused and
punishment awarded to him was proper. As regards co-accused it was held that his
turning deaf ears to the cries of the victim were his conduct and he must be
assumed to have had his end in mind when he had dragged the prosecutrix forcibly
to the police station.
In another case prosecutrix was a poor laboures working in a factory and was
raped by the accused where was convicted by the lower courts. Against this
conviction he appealed in Supreme Court which on the evidence on records found
that there was no delay in filing the FIR. The rule of produce that evidence of
victim must be corroborated had no application as court found that prosecutrix
could not be tested with same amount of suspicion as that of the accomplice.
Apart from this the presence of semen a petticoat and vagina gave full support
to the story narrated by the prosecutrix. Hence it was held that appeal having
no merit deserved the dismissal and conviction needed no interference. 
Rape on Pregnant Woman:
This aggravated fore of Rape has been embodied in
Section 376(2)(e) IPC,  thus committing rape on woman with the knowledge
that she was pregnant and also needed that the accused knew her to be pregnant.
Woman when is in advanced stage of pregnancy the fact that there was no
resistance from her would not make a consenting party.  Since knowledge of
pregnancy is material to bring home clause (e) of section 376(2), it is
necessary to state that the signs of pregnancy may be classified as presumptive,
probable and positive signs. 
Presumptive signs are:
- Cessation of menses
- Mammary charges.
- Changes in the Vagina.
- Pigmentation of skin.
- Morning sickness.
- Sympathetic disturbances.
- Frequency of micturition.
Probable signs of Pregnancy are the following:
- Enlargement of the abdomen.
- Softening the uterus
- Changes in the Cervix
- Intermittent uterine contraction
- Palpation of foetus
- Uterine Souffle
The positive signs which only an expert can discover are the following:
- Foetal heart sound.
- Foetal movements.
- (a) X-ray examination,
The aforesaid signs apart, there are some signs from which the
knowledge in the accused of the pregnancy of the concerned woman may be
attributed namely mammary changes which mean that the breasts become full and
tender and by 3-4 weeks being actually to increase in size. The superficial
views are seen more distinct and enlarged. The nipples are harder, firmer,
easily erectile and more prominent. 
Rape and Murder:
It was observed that after committed the offence of Rape the
victim to sometimes brutally murdered by the accused in order to save from the
punishment. In Amit @ Ammu  case the accused after committed the Rape on 11
years old girl and murdered her. At the time of last seen evidence it was proved
accused should explain how and in what circumstances the victim suffered the
death or should own the liability for the homicide. Accused held guilty on fasts
of last, seen evidence.
In Debakar Naik
 case, husband of the deceased who was an eye witness at the
time of occurrence did not disclose the names of accused to person who
immediately met him. Benefit of doubt not given to accused because husband was
under shock position it is normal to human behaviour to came in horrifying
situation to saw this type of occurrence.
In the case of Rajan @ Nasam
, it was observed that accused alleged to have
committed rape and murder of victim  a minor girl. Prosecution established
fact that deceased was last seen in company of accused. Dead body of accused was
recovered from paddy field on next day. No explanation by accused as to how and
in what manner deceased parted company with him. Recovery of dead body, school
bag and umbrella belonging to deceased on basis of information furnished by
Results of scientific examination of hair collected from scene of
occurrence and from accused can be relied on along with-other circumstances
connecting accused with crime. Circumstantial evidence was wholly and
indisputably consistent with guilt if accused. Acquittal of accused was held not
Last seen evidence as mention in Subhash Chand case
and their value of
circumstantial evidence must definitely permit an inference being drawn that the
victim and the accused were seen together at a point of time in close proximity
with the time and date of the commission of crime.
In case of Amit it was observed that accused took deceased victim a school going
girl aged 11-12 years to scheduled place and committed rape on her and
strangulated her to death. Testimony of witnesses who saw accused along with
deceased prior to incident was found trust worthy and reliable. Time of death of
deceased was established on examination of evidence. There was close proximity
of place and time between the event of having been last seen with the victim and
factum of death. In such circumstances it was held that burden was on accused
part to explain how and in what circumstances victim suffered the death. But no
explanation offered in statement made by accused under S.313 Cr. P.C. conviction
was accordingly upheld.
Causes and Consequences of Rape:
Rape has an enduring effect on the lives of the
victims. However in most cases it is not just the victim that experiences the
calamitous consequences of sexual violence. In a patriarchal society like in
India where the women have very low status the people closely connected to the
victim, especially the family members are also affected as a result of the
negative social reactions. 
Gang rape is a common type of sexual violence in India and the
victims raped by multiple assailants (gang rape) is inflicted with more serious
distress than the victims raped by a single assailant. The victims of gang rape
mostly avoid disclosing the issue to authorities fearing retaliation from the
criminals and societal stigmatization. In India gang rapes mostly occurs when
the women is visible in a sphere which is dominated by the men especially
certain places men considers as their territory (such as a bar). The women if
gets raped in this situation, even if a women has the right to enter the
territory will be blamed by the society for being responsible for the crime in
some way, partly or fully. 
The women is blamed for provoking sexual violence because the male
sexuality is considered to be masculinity which means power or aggression and
the opportunity for sex would be never refused by men when presented. The
victim blaming or stigmatizing the victim by the society mostly motivates the
victim towards suicide.
Rape is mostly accompanied by extreme violence or torture and the
perpetrators are not in all cases frustrated by the sexual inactivity or lust,
but rape can also be caused by displaced aggression. Displaced aggression is
when someone is enraged by a person or situation the individual then discharges
that anger towards another unconnected person or situation. In most cases people
have a tendency not to direct aggression towards the source of frustration, in
this situation the aggression might be then redirected towards another available
person suitable to be victimized. However, this is mainly due to the reason that
when compared to the original source where the anger is produced the chances of
retaliation will be less likely from the victim of displaced aggression.
Displacement can occur in long chains and is visible in societies commonly among
On one hand, in India with the increased opportunity for women in
education and employment, the modern women are entering a well-fortified
position to which the traditional male reacts with violence.  On the other
hand, the growing concentration of wealth due to the changing scenario of the
country's socio-economic system and the government's obsession to growth creates
disparity between the rich and the rest. The people from the lower sections of
society, mainly slum dwellers left with poverty unemployment or underpaid rapes
women on account of revenge or envy. 
Furthermore, victims of sexual violence experience a wide range of
physical and psychological problems. The rape victims might suffer from serious
reproductive health problems and chronicle illness, the victim can also have a
high risk of being infected by HIV/AIDS or STIs especially when sexually
assaulted by strangers. Psychologically, the victim may experience fear,
anxiety, low esteem which can also result in social adjustment problems. The
most common long term issues are depression and posttraumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). The victim can be affected with a poor health condition and even
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