Where is a woman safe?

Unfair deal

Ever felt a male relative acting funny with you? Or a neighbour staring at you through the window? Rest assured, you are not alone in going through this.

The Delhi police says of all the rape cases registered in the Capital in 2011, a whopping 98% were committed by men known to the victims.

Statistics reveal that of  the total 568 rapes registered last year in Delhi, the accused was a stranger to the victim only in 14.

Of the rest 554, in 58.28% cases the accused was a relative or a friend, in 36.44% incidents the culprit was a neighbour and in 2.82% rapes the perpetrator was an employer or a co-worker of the victim.

Former Delhi Police commissioner and now general secretary, NGO Prayas, Amod Kanth is not surprised. “We routinely come across such cases. Also this is not a class phenomenon as many tend to think. Incidents where a relative, friend or employer/co-worker is involved occur in the posh localities too. The only difference is that these cases are not registered,” he says.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamata Sharma agrees, “It’s true. A recent survey found that most rape cases occur between 6 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon.

With the society becoming more and more liberalised, girls loose the fear of being assaulted. After school, college or work, they tend to socialise freely where perverted minds mainly strike. The truth is that girls hardly ever misuse their freedom, it is the guys who violate their parents’ and other women’s faith.”

Rajat Mitra, an acclaimed psychologist and director of NGO Swanchetan, which deals with rape victims, says the society lacks a mature understanding of the psychology behind rape. “It is not an impulsive crime instigated by the clothes or mannerisms of a woman. Rape is a highly organised crime. The rapist plans it for at least days altogether and goes through it in his mind several times,” he opines.

He advises girls to develop their intution, building their personality appropriately and get tough physically and mentally. “Rudeness is not taught as a virtue to girls in the Indian society. But, girls should respect behaviour, not the relation or age. Remember, rapists do not approach rude women, they victimise only the meek and docile.”

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