It’s been 2 days we celebrated International women’s day on 8th of March. But no one is unaware from the condition of women in India. One of the aspects is sexual violence. Sexual violence is a major problem faced by women and girls in India. On looking at The BBC reports, show a jump in incidents of sexual violence against children by showing doubling in cases between 2012 and 2016. 4 out of 10 rape survivors are minors in India. Almost around 100 new cases are reported every day to the police, with one government survey finding that 99.1%of cases remain unreported.
As of 2016 most recent data available there were over 133,000 sexual violence cases awaiting trial and conviction rates are very low. Survivors of sexual violence face many barriers in accessing justice, including community pressure to drop the case, discouraging conviction rates and many more.
Sexual violence is a crime occur due to control and patriarchy including male privilege. In Indian society blame is still shifted onto survivors and their families. This culture of shame follows survivors in silencing their voices. Those who choose to report, face many obstacles to justice in India. Their families may go through intimidation and harassment, and even be made to flee. Together, these barriers comprise a system that force sexual violence survivors to undergo numerous indignities in their attempts to access justice.
India however has a systematic law for sexual violence. India has made wholesale changes to its rape laws in recent years including expanding the definition of rape to include that the absence of a physical struggle does not equate consent. Next recent reform is the 2012 Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) known for the establishment of child friendly courts and practices that would not require a minor victim to make numerous court appearances to deliver their evidence and law enforcement officers who fail to register complaints made by sexual violence survivors will also face compulsory strict actions.
Many of the recommendations made by the Justice Verma committee on amendments to Criminal Law made after Delhi gangrape case 2012 have yet to be implemented. Marital rape is still not a crime in India. Its high time for Indian society to raise a voice against violence going with women and also take action to call on India to make marital rape a crime!