Rape is one of the most horrific crimes that can lead to not just physical, but also mental trauma for life of the victim. It an unlawful act that typically involves sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person’s will. However, is India the Rape Capital of the World as often projected by some parts of media, or even our own people who paint the country poorly on a foreign platform?
Yes, we are referring to the current Vir Das controversy, where he quoted:
I come from an India where we worship women during the day, and gang rape them at night.
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RAPE IS A GLOBAL PROBLEM
Let us analyse NCRB Statistics for Rape in India for the last year. According to the same, in a country of 1.39 billion population, 28,046 cases had been reported under Section 376 of the IPC during the year 2020. Out of these, total of 5,015 cases were closed by police because either they were FALSE, or did not have enough evidence, or were a mistake or registered due to civil dispute.
Nearly, 10,751 cases were registered against former partners/boyfriends/friends/online friends/separated husbands – which also constitute cases by women, after boyfriends back out from marriage or when a consensual relationship goes kaput.
One of the most common arguments about rape statistics in India revolve around the stigma of reporting rapes, thereby, assuming that the number of cases published by NCRB could be very less. Hypothetically, even if the said number increases by 3 to 4 times, it is still only around 0.007% of the total population.
Rape Statistics Worldwide
As per a report, it is estimated that approximately 35% of women worldwide have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime. However, in most countries with data available on rape (including the U.S.), fewer than 40% of those women seek help — and fewer than 10% seek assistance from law enforcement.
In the U.S., for instance, it is estimated that only 9% of rapists are prosecuted, and only 3% spend time in prison. 97% of rapists walk free.
Statistics of Rape in USA
The scope and severity of the issue of rape in the U.S. can be seen in statistics such as:
- While the frequency of rape in the United States varies from state to state, it averages out to one every 1-2 minutes
- Women ages 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape or sexual assault
- 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the two weeks following the rape. 30% of those PTSD cases last at least nine months
- 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide
- A high percentage of rape victims experience ongoing professional and/or emotional issues as a result of the attack
- While the majority of sexual assault victims are female (82% of juveniles and 90% of adults), males around the world also experience sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape every day
- Transgender people and those with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of sexual assault or rape
- In the United States, 70% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows
Why Country-to-Country Comparisons of Rape Statistics Are Difficult?
Another confounding issue when compiling and comparing global rape statistics is that the legal definition of rape can vary from one country to the next. The methods used to count rapes can also vary significantly.
These differences include, but are not limited to:
TRIGGER WARNING: This list includes multiple general descriptions of what various countries do and do not consider rape
- Some countries consider any non-consensual sex to be rape. Others classify a sexual assault as rape only when it exceeds a certain threshold of violence
- Some countries acknowledge spousal rape. Others do not
- Some countries count any report of rape. Others count only those incidents that proceed to a legal trial
- Some countries include non-consensual, and sometimes also consensual, sex with a minor—typically classifed as statutory rape—in their rape totals. Other countries place any sex with a minor, consensual or not, into a separate category.
- Some countries confine the definition of rape to forced vaginal penetration during sexual intercourse only. Others consider any unwarranted penetration of the mouth, anus, or vulva with any body part or object to be rape
- Some countries track only male-on-female rape. Others also track female-on-female, female-on-male, and male-on-male rape
- Some countries count each individual assault that occurs between the same people (for instance, a child and a relative, or a man and his arranged fiancé) as its own separate incident. Others add all of the incidents together and count them as a single rape
- Similarly, some countries count gang rapes as a single incident regardless of how many individuals participated. Others count gang rapes as multiple incidents (one per participant, minus the victim or victims)
Despite these variances in recording and reporting methods, the data nonetheless makes clear that rape is a major issue all over the world.
For the year 2010, South Africa had the highest rate of rape in the world at 132.4 incidents per 100,000 people. In a survey released by the South African Medical Research Council in 2009, approximately one in four men admitted to committing rape. However, the government in South Africa is working to address this dysfunction, and proponents maintain that the rate has dropped to 72.1 in 2019-20 reporting.
Statistics serve a vital purpose, but when taken at face value, they sometimes fail to tell the whole story.
For example, countries that step up their efforts to prevent rape may see a rise in reported rapes rather than a decrease—but this is not necessarily bad. The key is to examine the cause of the increase.
Sweden’s seemingly oversized rape rate is perhaps the best-known example of this scenario. During the years 2013-2017, Sweden averaged 64 reported rapes per 100,000 inhabitants—a rate that tied for the highest in Europe. However, when the data was examined, it became clear that Sweden’s high numbers were fuelled in large part by Sweden’s broader definition of rape and more inclusive reporting rules compared to other European countries. When the data was recalculated using Germany‘s narrower guidelines, for example, Sweden’s average reported rapes per 100,000 people fell from 64 to 15, a decrease of 326.7%.
- Botswana (92.93) (2010)
- Australia (91.92) (2003)
- Lesotho (82.68) (2009)
- South Africa (72.10) (2019)
- Bermuda (67.29) (2004)
- Sweden (63.54) (2010)
- Suriname (45.21) (2004)
- Costa Rica (36.70) (2009)
- Nicaragua (31.60) (2010)
- Grenada (30.63) (2010)
- United States (27.31) (2010)
- United Kingdom (27.29) (2010)
- Bolivia (26.05) (2010)
- New Zealand (25.85) (2010)
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (25.61) (2010)
India was at number 93 at 1.81 rate according to 2010 data. With these statistics globally, can we demean India as a land of rapists?
The objective of the above article is not to pat our backs against other countries. Of course no one can deny that even a single rape can be justified in any manner. However, while speaking on an international platform, should we highlight and project India as a country, where all Men are labelled as gang rapists? Due to such skewed projections, citizens blindly demand more and more stringent laws against the Men, without understanding how it affects the country and the legal system at a macro level.
While a stand up comedian is facing multiple cases across the country today, it is also the duty of our central government to put out hard data when it comes to Rape Statistics. Unless the gender biased media is not countered, we will continue to be defamed on international platforms by motivated interests or few of our own dear citizens.
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