City more unsafe for women than ever

Laws seem to have proved ineffective

The year 2009 saw more violence against women than ever in the City, as they were killed  or subjected to cruelty for dowry - at the rate of almost two women a day being the victims. More women were raped and molested in the year than in the previous.
More women committed suicide for reasons other than dowry harassment, and more complained of cruelty by husbands or relatives than ever before.

A home-maker, originally from Darjeeling was stabbed to death in HSR Layout residence. A Doordarshan officer’s wife was brutally murdered at her house  in CJ Achukattu last year. A highly decomposed body of a woman, in her mid 40s, was found in her friend’s house in Kamalanagar recently. 

The investigation of majority  of crimes has revealed that dowry-related deaths, kidnap molestation and cruelties are committed by husbands and relatives. Hence, it is difficult for the police to anticipate such crimes and take preventive measures, says City Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari.

In Bangalore, women across class barriers – from pourakarmikas to garment factory workers to students and young professionals in the corporate sector – are becoming vulnerable targets. Major causes include sexual jealousy, rivalry, illicit relationship, increase in the number of women employees, women leading independent lives, rapid urbanisation, breakdown of the joint family system, increasing incompatibility in marriages and desire for revenge between estranged spouses, the police analyse.
As many as 1853 cases of domestic violence  were reported in the past two years and were referred to Mahila Sahayavani, Bidari says.

Former state women’s commission chairperson Prameela Nesargi alleges “the police are highly insensitive in understanding women’s problems. They look at women suspects and victims as hard criminals.”

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