Data Shows 10 Dalit Women Raped Every Day In India; These Are Just The Registered Cases!

Entitled people in power have always blamed crimes against women on the ‘freedom of women’ rather than focusing on the perpetrators and a system that supports rape culture.

On the afternoon of September 15, the bodies of two Dalit sisters, 17 and 15, were found hanging from a tree hung from a tree in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur. The girls were raped and then murdered.

So far according to news reports, the six men allegedly involved in the double murder have been arrested. In a media briefing, district police chief Sanjeev Suman told on Wednesday said that the girls were lured to a sugarcane field by the men and then were raped. When the victims forced the accused to marry them they strangulated the girls and hung their bodies from a tree.

Dalit girls and women are considered easy prey as it is both caste based and gender based violence. As per this article based on the 2019 National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, sexual crimes — disturbingly those involving unspeakable violence — against Dalit women are rampant across the country. Of the 32,033 rapes registered that year, around 11 per cent were against Dalits. In other words, 10 Dalit women were raped every day in India in 2019.

Things have become worse since then.

BJP leader Alok Vats essentially saying the girls “asked for it”

After this Alok Vats, BJP leader, on a panel discussion conducted by NDTV said that mobile phones are one of the reasons behind rapes, especially in small towns and villages. ‘Mobile phones interconnect people and make them make plans to meet, make plans to run away, make plans to go and get raped,” said Vats.

Although Vats tried to clarify later that his way of speaking was “misunderstood”, in one or the other way he did blame the access of women to basic rights like technology that men have as one of the reasons behind rapes.

This very entitlement was also pointed out by Supreme Court lawyer and Women’s rights activist Karuna Nundy who said, “leaders like you (Vats) are causing women to be unsafe, trammelled, in addition, to be violated sexually because leaders like you are saying that it is their fault…”

And this is so often the case in India – where women “can’t be raped by the ‘owners’ of their bodies, a.k.a. husbands, and hence marital rape isn’t a thing,” but any sexual behaviour with or without their consent, with “other” men is considered rape by default, by those with traditional mindsets. Vats is certainly one of these.

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Statements like the one by Vats, which blames mobile phones and not the men as a reason for crime against women where in the reality nearly 87 rape cases are reported every day in India (as per 2021 data from a report by National Crime Records Bureau), are shocking and disturbing. But this has been the case all along for many years by entitled people in power who do everything to blame crimes against women on the ‘freedom of women’ rather than focusing on the problem with these men who commit such heinous crimes, our society, our system and our governance.

Not the first time politicians have expressed these beliefs

This is not the first time where a leader has made a comment like this. Last year KR Ramesh Kumar, the former Karnataka Assembly Speaker said that “There is a saying that when rape is inevitable, lie down and enjoy it. That’s exactly the position in which you are.”

In 2014, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav opposed the death penalty for rape. He said, “Ladke, ladke hain ghalti ho jati hai (boys will be boys they commit mistakes)….”

In 2012, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that rape cases in India were on the rise because men and women had the opportunity to interact with each other more freely.

In 2013, Jamaat-E-Islami Hind Secretary General Nusrat Ali said that abolishing Co-education and making girls sober and dignified school dresses can prevent crime against women.

Chowmein has also been blamed for rape. In 2012, Jitendar Chattar, leader of a Khap Panchayat said that consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts, he said.

Let’s look at numbers, and how huge the problem is…

While the blame for rape is dumped on everyone from the victim, to her clothes, to the food, to the technology she uses, let’s look at some numbers.

According to the NCRB data for 2021, there was a 19.34% increase in rape cases reported in 2021 when compared to 2020.

As per the report, the total cases for trial in the court stood at 1,85,836, while cases, where the trial was completed, was 11,783 out of these only 3368 cases were there which were convicted making a conviction rate of just 28.2 percent.

And this is clearly the tip of the iceberg, as majority of women do not report sexual assault for fear of the stigma, shaming and blaming, not being believed, further violence, and many more factors. The numbers show how rampant rape cases are in India, how less they are reported, and the rate of punishment is even lesser.

So it’s high time that rather than blaming anything else for crime against women let’s reflect back at our system, make it more conducive for women to report and get justice, and most importantly let’s look back at our society and start putting the blame only on the perpetrators rather than the victim or her mobility in society.

Image source: Mohit Gupta from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro

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About the Author

Nishtha Pandey

I read, I write, I dream and search for the silver lining in my life. Being a student of mass communication with literature and political science I love writing about things that bother me. Follow read more...

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