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Increasing Rape on Minors and Psychology of Rapists

Every year the cases of rape in India are on the rise and since the past few years it has been observed that the cases of rape on minors are also increasing. This article focuses on studying the instances of the rape on minor girls in the country and attempts to understand the psychology of criminals in committing rape on minors.

All rape criminals do not have the same psychology and they do not have the same reasons to rape a minor girl so the challenge arises in understanding different psychologies of different rape offenders. Once the psychology of an offender is understood then appropriate punitive, therapeutic or preventive approach can be adopted to punish and rehabilitate the offender.

Rape On Minors

Rape is a highly gendered violent behaviour 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.

While the United Nations continues to promote democracy as the best system to secure women's dignity and rights, India the world's largest democracy fails to protect the nation's women. The main focus of this article is on the minors suffering rape and how the criminal psychology plays a vital role to aid this crime.

Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India.[i] It is estimated that approximately 35% of women worldwide have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. In the majority of countries that have data available on rape report that less than 40% of women who experience sexual violence seek help.

Less than 10% seek help from law enforcement. Because many women who experience sexual violence rarely report or come forward about their incidences, exact rape numbers are challenging to report.[ii]

Over 1.75 lakh rape cases were reported in the country between 2014-18 with Madhya Pradesh registering the highest number of cases all through this period, the latest NCRB data shows.[iii] The willingness to report the rape has increased in recent years, after several incidents of rape received widespread media attention and triggered public protest. This led the Government of India to reform its penal code for crimes of rape and sexual assault.

The new act Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was introduced in India to protect the rights of children, the new Act[i] provides for a variety of offences under which an accused can be punished. The act defines a child as a person under age of 18 years. It encompasses the biological age of the child and is silent on the mental age considerations. The new act recognizes forms of penetration other than penile-vaginal penetration and criminalizes acts of immodesty against children too.

The act is gender-neutral. With respect to pornography, the Act criminalizes even watching or collection of pornographic content involving children. The Act makes abetment of child sexual abuse an offence. It also provides for various procedural reforms, making the tiring process of trial in India considerably easier for children. The Act has been criticized as its provisions seem to criminalize consensual sexual intercourse between two people below the age of 18.

In the matter of punishment for offence committed by a person, there are many approaches to the problem.
On the commission of crime, three types of reactions may generate:
  1. The traditional reaction of universal nature which is termed as punitive approach. It regards the criminal as a notoriously dangerous person who must be inflicted severe punishment to protect the society from his criminal assaults.
  2. The other approach is the therapeutic approach. It regards the criminal as a sick person requiring treatment. Appropriate treatment and reformative punishment should be given to rehabilitate the criminal.
  3. The third is the preventive approach which seeks to eliminate those conditions from the society which were responsible for crime causation.

II. Some Instances Of Rape On Minor Girls In India

It all started from Mathura Rape Case[v] in the state of Maharashtra in which a teenage Adivasi girl was abducted by several policemen, the convicted were acquitted by the Supreme Court created an uproar on a national scale and through which the feminist groups themselves were able to come together across the country for the first time.

In his landmark January 11, 1994, judgment upholding death penal for security guard Dhananjay Chatterjee, who raped and murdered a school girl in a Kolkata apartment in 1990, Justice Anand had ruled:
Punishment must depend upon the atrocity of the crime committed, the conduct of the criminal and the defenseless state of the victim. And when it comes to unmarried minors than there is no answer or no amount of punishment is equal to their pain suffered.[vi]

On May 10, 2017, a 21-month-old baby girl was raped by a 40-year-old man from her neighborhood in Delhi's Gandhi Nagar area. The man, a known to the girl's father often allowed him to play with his baby. However, on this particular day, finding the baby alone, the man raped her for a hours until her father came home. The baby was rushed to a nearby hospital where the doctors claimed she was in a critical state. Another incident, happened on, May 10, 2017, a 5-year-old girl deaf and dumb girl was raped by a 24-year-old man in Varanasi.

Kathua Rape Case' (2018), where the eight-year-old girl, who was brutally gangraped by eight different men in a temple in Kathua. She was reportedly held for days in the temple and raped, in what appears to have been an effort to drive out the remaining members of the community from the region.

Another case- Jind Rape Case (2018) where, the body of a 15-year-old girl from Jind, Haryana, who had been missing for three days, was found in the village of Jhansa. Medical reports showed that she had been brutally gangraped, and her private parts had been mutilated, in earlier January.

Another incident of terrifying rape of a minor in Haryana took place in the city of Panipat, where an 11-year-old girl was raped and murdered by two of her neighbours, who reportedly committed necrophilia after they had murdered her.

On the evening of 16th February 2020, in a shocking incident, a five-month-old baby girl was allegedly raped on by her cousin brother. The child was found late on Sunday night and taken to a hospital where she died during treatment.[vii]

On the evening of 24th April 2020 a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by three youths, including a 16-year-old boy, who lured and took her to a school building in a village near her home in Haryana's Jind district. The police said that the boy knew the girl and lured her on some pretext. A rape case was lodged under relevant provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against the accused. The main accused boy has been arrested and further investigation is under progress.[viii]

On 9th June 2020 an 8-year-old girl was brutally raped by 6 people when the victim had gone to her neighbourhood to ask for food. The police have arrested all the six accused, two of whom are minors. The other accused include a 75 year old, a 68 year old, a 53 year old and a 52 year old man. A case has also been registered under POCSO.[ix]

III. Psychology Of Rapists

Rape is a horrendous crime and the impact of rape does not only affect the victim physically but also affects the victim psychologically. The offence of rape may be committed due to various reasons such as feelings of lust, hatred, anger, revenge, etc.

But what is the psychology of the person committing rape especially when he commits rape on minors. The author Yashasvi Kone has correctly observed in her article, When we think about the act of sexual violence against women and what could possibly have gone wrong, we invariably end up blaming the women and ridicule them for falling prey to such an act right before being ostracized. Women mistakenly feel something is wrong with them for being raped.

This inflicted perspective can lead to years of shame and the development of various clinical disorders such as major depression and in worst case scenarios, personality disorders. From the victim's viewpoint, whether it is a gang-rape or there is a single perpetrator, the psychological trauma is the same. The degree of physical violence may or may not be different. Along with the incidence of rape, the severity is also worsening. However, in all this hatred and anger directed towards the rapist, and the victim for invoking this wrath on her, the underlying pathology of the rapist is often ignored.

What goes on in the minds of the men who impose themselves on unsuspecting women � young, old, comatose or infant � is one question that has exercised many. So, what is that makes a monster out of a man?[x]

It is often seen that people tend to blame women for being the victim of rape and hold her responsible for wearing certain kind of clothes or behaving in a certain way.

There are various myths prevalent in the society regarding the offence of rape which have been summarized by Jaydip Sarkar in his article as follows:
  1. women ask for sex by the way they dress and behave,
  2. �they enjoy being raped, (c) women are raped only by strangers
  3. women could avoid being raped if they really wanted to,
  4. women cry rape for revenge on powerful men,
  5. rapists are crazy or psychotic (animals is a word that is often used), and
  6. �most rapists are different, not like us.
None of the above are generically true even if there may be some truth in some rare individual cases.[xi] Marcia Cohen and Sherrie H. McKenna, in their article, gave answers to these myths in the light of psychology of rape criminals as follows:
One commonly believed myth is that rape is primarily a sexual act. Persons with this belief often unintentionally place the victim on trial. Her motives, her dress and her actions become suspect not only to law enforcement officials but also to her family and friends.

The woman's credibility may be questioned and her sexual activity and private life may be made public. Perhaps because of the guilt, embarrassment and humiliation, rape has been a highly underreported crime. However, throughout the past 20 years a variety of psychologists and sociologists have begun to study the psychology of rape and rapists.

Their findings have shown that rape is a crime of violence, often regarded by the woman as a life-threatening act in which fear and humiliation are her dominant emotions. Sexual desire is less a motivation for the man than violent aggression.[xii] So when a man rapes a woman it is often fuelled by his emotions of violence, hatred, anger, revenge, etc. and if the psychology of such rapists committing rape on minors is understood then efforts can be made in the right direction to prevent such crimes.

3.1 Classification of Rapists

The classification of rapists is made on the basis of the driving force which influences them to commit rape. Sometimes it may be premeditated and sometimes it may be due to momentary lapse in judgment. Sometimes the offence is committed to satisfy the sexual urge and other times the offence is driven by the emotions of aggression and violence.

The author Jaydip Sarkar has, in his article, studied the taxonomy of rapists as follows:
There are many taxonomies available but one of the most robust, widely used, and methodologically sound typological systems to date is the Massachusetts Treatment Centre Rapist Typology: Version 3 (MTC:R3) which uses both theory and empirical data.

This model uses motivating dimensions to describe six different types of rapists, which is as follows:
  • Opportunistic rapist: Offences are unplanned and impulsive and immediate sexual gratification is sought, with force used as necessary. Offences are driven largely by immediate antecedent events (situational factors) rather than personal psychopathology, for example, late night, lone isolated female, no witnesses around. Sexual assault is one of many instances of poor impulse control.
  • Anger rapist: His offence is driven by extreme gratuitous aggression, severe violence, and a history of previous antisocial offending, serious physical injury to the victim is caused.
  • Sexual rapist: He is driven by preoccupation with sexual fantasies and urges and is best captured by the diagnosis of Paraphillia-Not otherwise specified (DSM-IV-TR)
  • Sexually nonsadistic rapist: He is driven by sexual fantasies and urges too, but the sexual arousal is inappropriate in nature (e.g., fetish), there are offence supportive beliefs and feelings of inadequacy regarding masculinity and sex.
  • Sexually sadistic rapist: The motivation for this rapist is not sexual but fantasies of degradation and humiliation of and power and control over the victim, best captured by the diagnosis of sexual sadism in the DSM-IV-TR.
  • Vindictive rapist: His drive is predominantly anger, but unlike the angry rapist, his anger and aggression is focussed exclusively on women. His behaviour is intended to humiliate and degrade victims with little/no evidence of eroticised aggression and low levels of impulsivity.

Some of these typologies include further subdivisions in terms of high or low social competence and the offence being sadistic in overt or muted manner.[xiii]

The above classification also holds true for the types of criminals committing rape on minors. The study of these different types of rapists is necessary to understand the reasons why one would commit rape on minors so that appropriate steps may be taken to prevent this heinous crime.

3.2 Pedophilic Disorder

Rape on minors may be committed either due to any psychiatric disorder (pedophilia) or due to the perverse and sadistic mind of the offender. George R. Brown, MD, Professor and Associate Chairman of Psychiatry, East Tennessee State University, has explained pedophilic disorder as follows:
Pedophilia is form of paraphilia. Because it causes harm to others, it is considered a disorder. Pedophilic disorder is characterized by recurring, intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviour involving children (usually 13 years old or younger). Pedophiles may be attracted to young boys, young girls, or both.

Whether girls or boys are more likely to be the victims of pedophiles is unclear, although girls seem much more likely to be the victims of sexual abuse in general.

Usually, the adult is known to the child and may be a family member, stepparent, or a person with authority (such as a teacher or coach). Some are attracted only to children within their own family (incest). Some pedophiles are attracted only to children, often of a specific age range or developmental stage. Others are attracted to both children and adults.

Doctors diagnose pedophilia when people feel greatly distressed or become less able to function well because of their attraction to children or when they have acted on their urges. Treatment involves long-term psychotherapy and drugs that alter the sex drive and reduce testosterone levels.[xiv]

In the article The Neurobiology and Psychology of Pedophilia: Recent Advances and Challenges' an in-depth study of the pedophilic disorder has been made and the following has been observed:
The most commonly asked question about pedophilia is how frequently it occurs. Obtaining reliable incidence numbers of pedophilia as a preference disorder is difficult as individuals are typically unwilling to admit pedophilic preferences, particularly when offenses have been committed.

The prevalence of a true pedophilic sexual preference is approximately 1%, but when general fantasies are investigated, that prevalence can reach up to 5% among men in the general population, extrapolated from the studies discussed below. Some studies suggest that the prevelance of pedophilia may be between 3% and 5% in the general population (as reviewed by Seto, 2009). In penile plethysmography studies of men with sexual offense histories against children, these prevalences can jump from 30% for men with one offense to 61% for men with 3 or more sexual offenses against children (Blanchard, 2010; Seto, 2009).

Child pornography use is also strongly related to pedophilia. As a study deriving from the German Dunkelfeld Prevention Project concluded, among 345 pedophiles admitting one or more sexual offenses against children, 37% have solely used child pornography, 21% committed exclusively hands-on sexual contacts with a minor, and 42% have committed both.[xv]
It is essential to know the status of mind of the person committing rape on minors so that appropriate treatment can be meted out to him and he can be rehabilitated back to the society.

3.3 Rapists Often Known to the Victims

The Calcutta High Court studied the Crime Statistics of India provided by NCRB and observed that, National Crime Record Bureau Reports show more than 90 per cent of cases of rape are perpetrated by relations or known persons. NCRB Crime in India Statistics in 2018 show that 93.9% of the total rape cases were committed by persons known to the victim.

In 2017, in 93% of the total rape cases, the offenders were known to the victim while in 2016, 94.6% of the total cases were committed by relations including father, brother, son, grandfather or other known acquaintances.[xvi]

It was reported that:
Every fourth rape victim across the country in 2018 was a minor, while more than 50 per cent of them fell in the age category of 18 to 30 years, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. In almost 94 per cent of the cases, the offenders were known to the victims - family members, friends, live-in partners, employers or others, the data showed.[xvii] It can be observed from the above data that in most of the cases of rape on minors the offenders are known to the victim and they are either the parents, family members, neighbours or relatives of the victim.

In the case of Mohinder Singh vs. State Of Punjab[xviii] the accused had committed rape on his minor daughter and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 12 years. The Supreme Court expressed its repugnance in the following words, One cannot comprehend to visualize a situation of such nature in which father himself committed rape on his own minor daughter in the presence of her own mother.

The conduct of the appellant in the commission of the said offence was not only bordering on immorality of the highest order but would be extremely difficult for anyone to lightly brush aside such a conduct by stating that either it was committed in a fit of anger or rage or such other similar situation. If such grotesque offence of rape had been committed by anyone, other than the father himself, the victim would have had every opportunity to cry for solace in her father or mother.

In this context, we are only reminded of the Tamil proverb ?????? ????? ??????? ??? which means in English When the fence eats the crops.

When the father himself happens to be the assailant in the commission of such beastly crime, one can visualize the pathetic situation in which the girl would have been placed and that too when such a shameless act was committed in the presence of her own mother.[xix]

In the case of Laxman Naik vs. State of Orissa [xx] a 7 year old girl was raped and murdered by her own uncle. The Court opined that the accused seems to have acted in a beastly manner.

After satisfying his lust, he thought that the victim might expose him for the commission of offence on her to her family members and others, the accused with a view to screen the evidence of the crime, put an end to the life of that innocent girl. The Court noticed how diabolically the accused had conceived his plan and brutally executed it in such a calculated cold blooded and brutal murder of a very tender age girl after committing rape on her.

In the case of Kamta Tiwari vs. State of M.P. [xxi] the Supreme Court dealt with a case of rape followed by murder of a 7 year old girl. Evidence disclosed that the accused was close to the family of the father of the deceased and the deceased used to call him uncle.

This Court noticed the closeness to the accused and the accused encouraged her to go to the grocery shop where the girl was kidnapped by him and was subjected to rape and later strangulated to death throwing the dead body in a well.

In the case of Shivaji @ Dadya Shankar Alhat v. The State of Maharashtra[xxii] the accused, a married man having three children, was known to the family of the deceased and he raped and murdered the 9 year old victim.

In the case of Mohd. Mannan @ Abdul Mannan v. State of Bihar[xxiii] a minor girl aged 7 years was kidnapped, raped and murdered. Court noticed how the accused had won the trust of that innocent girl and the gruesome manner in which she was subjected to rape and then strangulated her to death. The accused was aged 42-43 years. In Haresh Mohandas Rajput v. State of Maharashtra[xxiv] a 10 year old girl was raped by her neighbour while playing.

In Amit vs. State of Uttar Pradesh[xxv] the 28 year old accused, who was a neighbour of the victim, took away the 3 year old victim on the pretext that he would give biscuits to her and then committed rape on her and murdered her. The above are some of the many instances where a minor girl is raped by a family member or someone close to the family or someone who gains the trust of the victim.

In the case of Saji @ Piyoos vs State Of Kerala[xxvi] the Kerala High Court upheld the conviction of the two accused who were the parents of the victim. The father of the victim (1st accused) with an intention of committing rape of his own minor daughter aged 13 years had sexual intercourse with her for a period of one year consequent to which she became pregnant and delivered a baby boy. After delivery the accused abandoned the baby of the victim.

The Kerala High Court commented that, In this case, the father did not spare his daughter and ravished her body and soul to satisfy his lust for sex. Undoubtedly, he deserves severest of punishment provided under law.

In the case of Moosa Kunnugothi vs. The Administrator[xxvii] the Kerala High Court rejected bail application of the accused who is a person wielding considerable influence and wealth. With the active aid and assistance of his wife, the 2nd accused, he is alleged to have procured a minor child aged 9 year, coming from an underprivileged background, and subjected her to rape and unnatural sexual assault.

It is also alleged that the deviant and depraved acts committed by the petitioner were videotaped and the same was circulated by the petitioner, online as well as offline. In the course of the investigation, while the statement of the 2nd accused was recorded under section 164 of the Cr.P.C. was recorded, she is alleged to have disclosed about another incident of brutal sexual molestation by the petitioner of yet another minor girl, under the age of 13 years. The case is under trial.

In the case of Dhari Kumar Jamatia vs. State Of Tripura[xxviii] the Tripura High Court upheld the conviction of three accused who had forcibly taken the victim away to the nearby rubber garden where she was gang raped by them.

The accused were known to the victim. In this case the age of the victim (whether she was a minor) at the date of the incident and delay in filing FIR were under scrutiny. To establish the age of the victim her school certificate was provided as evidence and the court accepted it holding that the victim was a minor at the date of the incident.

With regards to delay in filing FIR the Court observed that:
In our considered view, it is quite unrealistic to look for explanation for every moment's delay in reporting the crime to police in rape cases. When such a barbaric crime is committed to a woman, not only the victim, her entire family undergoes a trauma and it takes time for them to come back to normalcy and think for other things.

What we need to consider is whether the lapse of time / delay, in the given facts and circumstances of the case, creates an inference that the time was utilized for concoction and false implication. The court analysed the facts and circumstances of the case and held that there was no delay in filing FIR and the Trial Court had rightly convicted the accused.

The reason why rapists commit rape on minor girls, preferably whom they know, is because they get easy access to such girls, such minor girls have trust on such people they know and the family members also would not doubt and leave the minor girl alone with such person known to them, the minor girls would not resist or would not resist as powerfully as a major would, the minor girl would not even realise that she has been raped, it is easy to threaten or manipulate such minor girls and sometimes the family members would also not prefer filing a complaint of rape of a minor girl by a known person or by a relative due to the fear of losing their social status in the society. The psychology of the criminal in raping a minor girl is that he can show power on her with fewer efforts and the chances of his exposure would be less.

IV. The interviews of some people who are working or have closely worked with the subject of rape and rape criminals were taken to get a practical understanding of rape and the psychology of criminals.
  1. Mr. Abhimanyu Rai, Police Sub-inspector, Vastrapur Police (Ahmedabad, Gujarat)

    On being asked about the accused who rape minor girls Mr. Abhimanyu Rai was of the view that the age group of the accused causing rape on minors is mostly 17 to 24 years of age.
    �The girls who are more than 12 years of age and who are the victims of rape are usually involved in a romantic relationship with the accused and also have physical relationship with the accused and when the family of the girl discovers about their relationship they blame the accused of having caused rape on the girl even though the physical relationship having been consensual. It is very rare to find cases where rape is caused by a stranger on a minor.

    Moreover there are also cases of fake FIRs and sometimes the media reports a case of rape just on the basis of FIR even before the investigation is completed, medical report is obtained and even before the rape is established. He is of the view that the cases of rape are less than the cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
  2. Mr. D.R.Rathod, Police Sub-Inspector, Sola Police (Ahmedabad, Gujarat)

    Mr. D.R.Rathod said that the officers interrogating with the rape accused are of the view that the accused who commit rape on minors are mostly having some psychological disorder and they do not have control over their minds.

    He is of the view that in cases of victim girls who are of the age of 16 to 18 years and the accused being an adult male of around 24 years of age usually have a consensual physical relationship and a complaint of rape is filed only when the family members of the girl discovers about their relationship and to maintain their status in the society and to prevent degradation of their social status the girl complaints the physical relationship to be non-consensual thereby amounting to rape.

    On the topic of rape on minors Mr. Rathod is of the view that rape cases on minors are on the rise as the criminals think that they can easily manipulate and threaten minor girls, show power to them and such minor victims would resist less as compared to the major victims. Such minor girls would not even realize what happened with them and many times they would not even tell anyone about what happened with them. This is the reason that parents should teach their minor girls to inform them if any such thing happens with such girls and sex education is important for both boys and girls.
  3. Mr. G.S.Siyan, Senior Police Inspector, Sola Police (Ahmedabad, Gujarat)

    Mr. G.S.Siyan is of the view that one of the main reasons of the increasing rape cases in the country is the increasing influence of the western culture. He is also of the view that the media only have half information and they do not always report the whole truth and sometimes report a case to be rape despite being a case of sexual harassment.

    In many cases, there are provocations by the victim who are of the age group of 16 to 18 years but after the case is filed the victim does not accept such provocations and blame the accused. Such victims misuse the sexual harassment laws made for the protection of females. In respect of rape on minors, he is of the view that there is an important role to be played by the parents of a minor girl child. The parents have to teach the minor girls about the GOOD TOUCH BAD TOUCH'.
  4. Mr. D.H.Gadhvi, Police Inspector, Sola Police (Ahmedabad, Gujarat)

    On being asked that there are many laws which punish sexual assault and sexual harassment then why is there no deterrent effect of those laws on the accused, Mr.D.H.Gadhvi is of the view that the criminals have the psychology that even though there is heavy punishment for the crime of rape their lawyers would defend them and acquit them from the charges of rape. Such assurance would give them the power to do anything.
  5. Ms. Ruzan Khambatta, Director Wajra O' Force Empowerment Foundation

    On being asked about the reasons for increasing rape cases on minors Ms. Ruzan Khambatta is of the view that pornography, influence of alcohol and vulnerability of minor girls are some of the many reasons for the increasing rape cases on minors.

    The minor girls cannot defend themselves which makes them an easy target. The concept of nuclear families has corrupted the family values which is the main reason why a family member or a relative of a minor girl commits rape on her. She has also observed that rape on minors usually occurs in the rural or slum areas and one of the main reasons for that are the migrant labourers.

    The migrant labourers usually come for work alone and they have no way to satisfy their sexual urge due to which they would often rape minor girls, being the easy target, residing in their neighbouring house or in their locality. Ms. Ruzan Khambatta believes that stringent action needs to be taken against such accused and the laws need to be stricter for the prevention of such crimes. She recommends shock treatment for fixing the perverse mind of such accused who commit the horrendous crime of raping minor girls which might create a deterrent effect thereby reducing the rape on minors in the country.
  6. Prof. Debarati Halder, United World School of Law (Gujarat)

    Prof. Debarati Halder holds the view that the offenders raping minors would either be juveniles or adults. The offenders, who commit rape on minors, in the age group of 16 to 19 years are exposed to sexual content and it is their responsibility to use it positively or negatively.

    When the exposure to sexually explicit content is not handled positively it results in crimes such as rape. She believes that law cannot control the actions of the people, it can only create fear in the mind of people. Some of the reasons for aggravated penetrative sexual assault are prolonged provocation, sadistic mentality, social dominance and revenge rape.

    On the aspect of social dominance Prof. Debarati Halder said that in states like Rajasthan and Haryana the practice of social dominance is prevalent which results in people of higher caste committing rape on women and minor girls of lower caste. According to her, education and social awareness can help in reducing the crime of rape.
  7. Prof. Sonia Shali, United World School of Law (Gujarat)

    Prof. Sonia Shali, explaining the psychology of criminals, said that the term psyche' in psychology' refers to brain and all actions are done by the command of the brain. The actions may be either intentional or unintentional but all actions done by a criminal would be intentional since he would have given some thought before committing a crime. The mens rea of a crime is said to be negative cognitive process of the criminal.

    According to her some of the reasons for increasing rape cases are peer influence, nuclear families, poverty, surroundings and money. She believes that 12 to 18 years of age is an experimental age and so the juveniles commit rape on minor girls to experiment their sexual impulse whereas the major males commit rape on minor girls to satisfy their lust under the influence of their pervert and sadistic minds.

    Rape on minors occurs more in villages and is often committed by the minor's relatives or by the people she knows mainly because of lack of education, lack of money, urge for sexual pleasure, easy access to minors and they can be threatened easily. To understand the psychology of offenders who commit rape on minors methods such as mapping and psychometric analysis are used so that it can be known whether the offender committed rape due to some kind of psychiatric disorder or just because of his pervert mind.

As per the views noted above, it can be said that some of the main reasons for rape on minors are pornography, influence of alcohol, vulnerability of minor girls, less resistance by minor girls, poverty, illiteracy, influence of surroundings, peer influence, nuclear families and social dominance.

As has been observed above, the three approaches to a crime are the punitive approach, therapeutic approach and preventive approach. If we give our take upon the execution of punitive approach then, during the time of judgement, not only the pain and sufferings of the minor victim of rape but also the psychology and circumstances of the offender committing rape on minor be considered by the courts. Moreover, there should be more focus on the adoption and execution of the therapeutic and preventive approaches so as to rehabilitate the offenders and to take measures to prevent the crime of rape on minors.

As far as the therapeutic approach is concerned, measures can be taken to find the reasons why an offender committed rape on minor, whether it was because of him suffering from some psychiatric disorder or whether it was due to some personal enmity or feelings of lust or anger. Once the reason for the offence is known then appropriate therapeutic treatments can be meted out to the offenders for their reformation and rehabilitation.

In case of preventive approach, preventive measures such as educating the minors about good touch and bad touch; encouraging confidence in minors to inform if any incident of sexual assault happens with them; creating awareness among people about rape on minors and the harshness of the punishment for such crimes so as to create deterrent effect among people; survey should be made as to in which areas, whether rural or urban, the crime of rape on minors is more prominent and to target the awareness programmes appropriately towards those areas; to avoid the minors wandering alone in the streets, especially at night and to always accompany the minor girls when they go out; the parents of the minors should always keep a check on the behaviour of their neighbours or the relatives towards their child and if they have any suspicion then they should talk directly to that person regarding it and should also warn their child and such other measures should be taken to prevent the crime of rape on minors.

As is stated in this article, there are different reasons for different offenders to commit the offence of rape on minors so it becomes difficult to make laws as per different situations. The effective implementation of the law would be to take into account both, the suffering of the victim and the psychology of the offender while pronouncing judgments.

Also some of the other measures which can be taken are to encourage the victims to report the crime of rape on them, to encourage the offenders to undergo psychiatric treatments so that they do not commit the offence again and to establish fast-track courts to specially deal with the cases of rape on minors for speedy relief. An effective change can be brought not only by treating the victims of rape but also by treating the offenders of rape.

  1. Kumar, Radha (2003) [1993], The agitation against rape, in Kumar, Radha, The history of doing: an illustrated account of movements for women's rights and feminism in India 1800-1990, New Delhi: Zubaan, p. 128, ISBN 9788185107769.
    Chapter 5: Crime against women, Crime in India 2012 Statistics (PDF), National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, p. 81, archived from the original (PDF) on 16 January 2016
  2. Rape Statistics by Country 2020, World Population Review;
  3. Over 1.75 lakh rapes in India from 2014-18, The New Indian Express, 20th March 2020,
  4. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012
  5. Tuka Ram and Another vs. State of Maharashtra, 1979 AIR 185
  6. Dhananjay Chatterjee Alias Dhana vs. State of West Bengal, 1994 (1) ALT Cri 388
  10. Yashasvi Kone, What was the psychology of the rapists behind the Delhi gang rape?,, Nov 5, 2015,
  11. Jaydip Sarkar, Mental health assessment of rape offenders, Indian J Psychiatry. 2013 Jul-Sep; 55(3): 235�243.
  12. Marcia Cohen and Sherrie H. McKenna; Rape: Psychology, Prevention and Impact; Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute;
  13. Jaydip Sarkar, Mental health assessment of rape offenders, Indian J Psychiatry. 2013 Jul-Sep; 55(3): 235�243.
  14. George R. Brown, Pedophilic Disorder, MSD Manual,
  15. Gilian Tenbergen, Matthias Wittfoth, Helge Frieling, Jorge Ponseti, Martin Walter, Henrik Walter, Klaus M. Beier, Boris Schiffer, Tillmann H. C. Kruger Front Hum Neurosci. The Neurobiology and Psychology of Pedophilia: Recent Advances and Challenges. 2015; 9: 344. Published online 2015 Jun 24. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00344,
  16. Bhuban Mondal vs State Of West Bengal, Calcutta High Court, C.R.A. 927 of 2013, 27th February 2020,
  18. 2013 (3) SCC 294,
  19. Mohinder Singh vs. State Of Punjab, 2013 (3) SCC 294,
  20. (1994) 3 SCC 381,
  21. (1996) 6 SCC 250,
  22. (2008) 15 SCC 269,
  23. (2011) 5 SCC 317,
  24. (2011) 12 SCC 56,
  25. (2012) 4 SCC 107,
  26. Kerala High Court, CRL.A.No.854 OF 2015(A), 4th June 2020,
  27. Kerala High Court, 8th June 2020,
  28. High Court of Tripura, Crl. A(J) 49/2017, 12th June 2020,

Written By:
  1. Nishka Prajapati and
  2. Deep Shah

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