Delhi Crime Reality Check: Has crime against women decreased?
The incident generated widespread protest and brought into spotlight the security women enjoy (or in this case, don’t enjoy) in India.
Indians across the globe must have felt proud when Delhi Crime bagged the International Emmy award for the Best Drama Series. The Netflix show, directed by Richie Mehta, tells the fact-based story behind an investigation of the gruesome rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman. The incident took place on a moving bus on the night of 16 December 2012, and it initiated nationwide movements and peaceful protests.
The incident generated widespread protest and brought into spotlight the security women enjoy (or in this case, don’t enjoy) in India. The harrowing episode even caught the attention of the international press, prompting BBC to release India’s Daughter, a documentary about the ‘Nirbhaya’ incident -- not to the pleasure of the Indian government!
Eight years down the line, let’s see if Indians can be proud of the current state of security for women in the country.
Crimes against Women
In 2012, there were 2,44,270 incidences of crime against women reported in India, out of which 24,923 cases were of rape. Rape was only 10.2 per cent of the total crimes against women in 2012. The number of cases across India increased exponentially in 2019 to 4,05,861. Out of which, 32,033 cases lodged were concerning rape (7.89 per cent).
Shifting our focus to Delhi (recognised as the rape capital), the Union Territory reported 2.43 per cent of all crimes against women in India in 2012. This percentage increased to 3.3 per cent in 2019 with 13,395 cases. In 2019, 62.4 women (out of every one lakh) faced crime in India. When we compare every state and union territory, Delhi comes second (the first is Assam) in the highest rate of crimes against women with 144 women out of every one lakh subjected to some crime. This is a 106.45 per cent increase in statistics when it comes to crime against women, from the year 2012. Earlier, the number was at 69.75 out of every one lakh women.
Victims of Rape
In 2019, data revealed that most rape-victims are between the age group of 18 to 30 with 19,653 victims out of the 32,260 total victims across India. 15.42 per cent of all rape victims in 2019 were underage.
In Delhi, there were a total of 1253 rape victims, 948 out of them in the age between 18 and 30. Fortunately, there were no underage victims in the year 2019 in the UT.
Offender’s Relation to the Victim
It is heartening to realise that majority of the offenders were known, or related, to the victim. The 32,033 rape cases lodged in 2019 showed that the offenders were (directly, or indirectly) related to the victim in 30,165 cases, (94.2 per cent). With family members comprising of 9.66 per cent (Family Friends/ Neighbours/ Employer or Other Known Persons- 36.26 per cent, and Friends/Online-Friends or Live in Partners on Pretext of Marriage/Separated Husband covering 54.07 per cent). In 2012, this data was worse off, with the victim knowing the offender in 98.1 per cent of all rape cases.
In Delhi, back in 2012, out of 706 rape cases, in 680 cases the victim knew the offender (96.3 per cent). Seven years after, this figure has increased with the victim knowing the perpetrator in 1,237 cases of the total 1,253 rape cases in Delhi (98.7 per cent).
(Data Source: National Crime Record Bureau)