It has not even been a year since the outrageous gang rape and murder of a 23 year old physiotherapy student in New Delhi, India, grabbed international headlines in owing to the brutality of the crime. The incident that took place in a local bus in an affluent neighborhood of the nation’s capital also sparked several protests and national debates on violence against women in the country. Yet, the nation is still waiting to witness a decrease in the number of rape cases. Alarmingly, the number of rape cases has actually increased after the sordid incident.
The victim of the December incident, named Nirbhaya by the Indian Government, allegedly boarded a bus with her friend after visiting a cinema theater. Out of the six men present in the bus, four men tied up her friend, gang raped her and mutilated her organs with iron rods. The victim died while receiving treatment in a private hospital in Singapore while her friend was seriously injured in the incident. The four men who were accused of gang raping her were sentenced to death in September this year.
Even the wide scale protests, raked the nation after the incident, have still not had any effect on the notorious men in the capital. According to a recent study, the number of rape cases in Delhi has increased to 1330 in just 10 months as opposed to 706 cases for the entire year of 2012.
The number of sexual assault cases has also increased alarmingly from 727 in 2012 to more than 2844 in 2013. The number of sexual harassment cases pertaining to eve-teasing, attacks on brides, domestic abuse and kidnapping of women has also risen drastically.
These figures were submitted to the Supreme Court and were immediately denounced by the judges who claimed that the numbers reflected the increasing vulnerability of women in the nation. Justice Singhvi declared that women across the nation continue to be subjected to sexual assault, harassment and molestation on a daily basis.
A prolific campaigner for women’s rights, RanjanaKumari also revealed that the higher number of rape cases in the nation both an increasing threat to women, and a new found confidence in many women to report such cases to the police instead of remaining silent about them.
She believes that the increasing instances of rape and sexual harassment against women in the country is just the tip of an iceberg getting ready to break and flood the nation with misogynic attitudes. She also claimed that in the absence of a strict and immediate punishment for offenders, these cases would continue to rise, and it would take entire generations for the nation to bring about a positive social change in the future.