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Violence against women in India and some changes

Violence against women in India refer to physical or sexual violence committed against Indian women, typically by a man. Common forms of violence against women in India include acts such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, and murder. In order to be considered violence against women, the act must be committed solely because the victim is female. Most typically, these acts are committed by men as a result of the long-standing gender inequalities present in the country.

Violence against women in India is actually more present than it may appear at first glance, as many expressions of violence are not considered crimes, or may otherwise go unreported or undocumented due to certain Indian cultural values and beliefs. These reasons all contribute to India's Gender Inequality Index rating of 0.524 in 2017, putting it in the bottom 20% of ranked countries for that year.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, reported incidents of crime against women increased 6.4% during 2012, and a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau

  • In 2011, there were greater than 228,650 reported incidents of crime against women,
  • while in 2015, there were over 300,000 reported incidents, a 44% increase. Of the women living in 
India, 7.5% live in West Bengal where 12.7% of the total reported crime against women occurs. Andhra Pradesh is home to 7.3% of India's female population and accounts for 11.5% of the total reported crimes against women.

65% of Indian men believe women should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together, and women sometimes deserve to be beaten.

In January 2011, the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) Questionnaire reported that 24% of Indian men had committed sexual violence at some point during their lives.

Exact statistics on the extent case occurrences are very difficult to obtain, as a large number of cases go unreported. This is due in large part to the threat of ridicule or shame on the part of the potential reporter, as well as an immense pressure not to damage the family's honor.

For similar reasons, law enforcement officers are more motivated to accept offers of bribery from the family of the accused, or perhaps in fear of more grave consequences, such as Honor Killings.

To combat violence and other abuses against women, Telangana Police have established SHE Teams to focus on the safety of women.

Crime in India exists in various forms.


A dowry death is the murder or suicide of a married woman caused by a dispute over her dowry. In some cases, husbands and in-laws will attempt to extort a greater dowry through continuous harassment and torture which sometimes results in the wife committing suicide, or the exchange of gifts, money, or property upon marriage of a family's daughter.

The majority of these suicides are done through hanging, poisoning or self-immolation. When a dowry death is done by setting the woman on fire, it is called bride burning. Bride burning murder is often set up to appear to be a suicide or accident, sometimes by setting the woman on fire in such a way that it appears she ignited while cooking at a kerosene stove.[6] Dowry is illegal in India, but it is still common practice to give expensive gifts to the groom and his relatives at weddings which are hosted by the family of the bride.

In Uttar Pradesh, 2,244 cases were reported, accounting for 27.3% of the dowry deaths nationwide. In, Bihar, 1,275 cases were reported, accounting for 15.5% of cases nationwide.

Incidents of dowry deaths have decreased 4.5% from 2011 to 2012.

In 2018, still as many as 5,000 dowry deaths are recorded each year.

Female infanticide is the elected killing of a newborn female child or the termination of a female fetus through sex-selective abortion. In India, there is incentive to have a son, because they offer security to the family in old age and are able to conduct rituals for deceased parents and ancestors. In contrast, daughters are considered to be a social and economic burden.

An example of this is dowry. The fear of not being able to pay an acceptable dowry and becoming socially ostracised can lead to female infanticide in poorer families.

Modern medical technology has allowed for the sex of a child to be determined while the child is still a fetus.

Once these modern prenatal diagnostic techniques determine the sex of the fetus, families then are able to decide if they would like to abort based on sex. One study found that 7,997 of 8,000 abortions were of female fetuses. The fetal sex determination and sex-selective abortion by medical professionals is now a R.s 1,000 crore (US$244 million) industry.

The Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994 (PCPNDT Act 1994) was modified in 2003 in order to target medical professionals. The Act has proven ineffective due to the lack of implementation. Sex-selective abortions have totaled approximately 4.2-12.1 million from 1980-2010.

There was a greater increase in the number of sex-selective abortions in the 1990s than the 2000s. Poorer families are responsible for a higher proportion of abortions than wealthier families. Significantly more abortions occur in rural areas versus urban areas when the first child is female.

Sexual crimes
The map shows the comparative rate of violence against women in Indian states and union territories in 2012, based on crimes reported to the police. Crime rate data per 100,000 women in this map is the broadest definition of crime against women under Indian law. It includes rape, sexual assault, insult to modesty, kidnapping, abduction, cruelty by intimate partner or relatives, trafficking, persecution for dowry, dowry deaths, indecency, and all other crimes listed in Indian Penal Code.

India is considered to be the world’s most dangerous country for sexual violence against women. Rape is one of the most common crimes in India. Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 defines rape as penile and non-penile penetration in bodily orifices of a woman by a man, without the consent of the woman.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, one woman is raped every 20 minutes in India. Incidents of reported rape increased 3% from 2011 to 2012.Incidents of reported incest rape increased 46.8% from 268 cases in 2011 to 392 cases in 2012. Despite its prevalence, rape accounted for 10.9% of reported cases of Victims of rape are increasingly reporting their rapes and confronting the perpetrators. Women are becoming more independent and educated, which is increasing their likelihood to report their rape.

Although rapes are becoming more frequently reported, many go unreported or have the complaint files withdrawn due to the perception of family honour being compromised. Women frequently do not receive justice for their rapes, because police often do not give a fair hearing, and/or medical evidence is often unrecorded which makes it easy for offenders to get away with their crimes under the current laws.

Increased attention in the media and awareness among both Indians and the outside world is both bringing attention to the issue of rape in India and helping empower women to report the crime.

After international news reported the gang rape of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus that occurred in Delhi, in December 2012, Delhi experienced a significant increase in reported rapes. The number of reported rapes nearly doubled from 143 reported in January–March 2012 to 359 during the three months after the rape. After the Delhi rape case, Indian media has committed to report each and every rape case.

Marital rape

In India, marital rape is not a criminal offense. India is one of fifty countries that have not yet outlawed marital rape. 20% of Indian men admit to forcing their wives or partners to have sex.
Marital rape can be classified into one of three types: Battering rape: This includes both physical and sexual violence. The majority of marital rape victims experience battering rape.
  • Force-only rape:
    Husbands use the minimum amount of force necessary to coerce his wife.
  • Compulsive or obsessive rape:
    Torture and/or "perverse" sexual acts occur and are often physically violent.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence is abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as dating, marriage, cohabitation or a familial relationship. Domestic violence is also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV). Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, verbal, economic and sexual abuse. Domestic violence can be subtle, coercive or violent. In India, 70% of women are victims of domestic violence.

-38% of Indian men admit they have physically abused their partners. The Indian government has taken measures to try to reduce domestic violence through legislation such as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.

Every 9 minutes, a case of cruelty is committed by either of husband or a relative of the husband. Cruelty by a husband or his relatives is the greatest occurring crime against women.
Adhyayan Foundation for Policy and Research Page 8

From 2011 to 2012, there was a 7.5% increase in cruelty by husbands and relatives.

Forced and child marriage

Girls are vulnerable to being forced into marriage at young ages, suffering from a double vulnerability: both for being a child and for being female. Child brides often do not understand the meaning and responsibilities of marriage. Causes of such marriages include the view that girls are a burden for their parents, and the fear of girls losing their chastity before marriage.

Acid throwing

Acid throwing, also called an acid attack, a vitriol attack or vitriolage, is a form of violent assault used against women in India. Acid throwing is the act of throwing acid or an alternative corrosive substance onto a person's body "with the intention to disfigure, maim, torture, or kill." Acid attacks are usually directed at a victim's face which burns the skin causing damage and often exposing or dissolving bone. Acid attacks can lead to permanent scarring, blindness, as well as social, psychological and economic difficulties.

The Indian legislature has regulated the sale of acid. Compared to women throughout the world, women in India are at a higher risk of being victims of acid attacks. At least 72% of reported acid attacks in India have involved women. India has been experiencing an increasing trend of acid attacks over the past decade.

Analysis Of Crimes Against Women In India

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), collectively, also known as Violence Against Women (VAW), are violent acts that are predominantly committed against women and girls.

This type of violence is gender-based, meaning that these crimes are committed against women and girls just because of the sole reason that they are female. Violence against women can be classified into several categories and these include violence carried out by "individuals" as well as "states".

Some of the forms of violence carried out by individuals are: rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, female infanticide, etc; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as dowry violence, honor killings, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage.

Some forms of violence are inflicted by the state such as war rape, sexual violence and slavery during conflict, forced abortion, violence by the police and authoritative personnel, stoning and flogging. Often crimes like forced prostitution and trafficking in women are perpetrated by organized crime. The analyses these crimes based upon the age groups of the offenders and states they belong to by analyzing the data available. This analysis involves several steps like data processing, data cleaning, data modeling and analysis and finally, communication.

This analysis was done by using datasets from 2002-2012. Several modules were kept in mind while performing the data analysis. The data which was been received was not efficient, and thus data cleaning, preprocessing was done extensively to make the data efficient for use. The prediction of the data is significantly higher than it would have been had the data been used as such.

The objective of the analysis to provide efficient and clear solution was achieved, thus proving that the data is reliable enough to be used for framing new laws, preventing new crimes, bringing into place new strategies to curb these activities. As future work, newer datasets could be analyzed, so that new policies can be framed. Detection technologies can improve incident detection and engage safety resources for the public sooner.

This will lead to improved response times and will help the general public. Technology will help increase accuracy and efficiency of incident response and reporting and, thus resources, like police force, can be allocated better.

This in turn, will enhance incident investigation efficiency and help increase clearance rates. Analytics can also help discover and identify trends to improve operational effectiveness. Proactive policing can help stop crime before it actually happens.

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