Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Rape in India

on November 18, 2011

Rape is something that is treated pretty poorly in a lot of countries. It’s something that is looked down on with shame in many cultures.

Today I want to take a look at rape in India. According to at least one source, India is on it’s way to becoming the rape capital of the world. I warn you that’s what up ahead is not pretty or anything like that. I’m not a fan of skipping things because they’re hard to read, but I want you to be forewarned what’s coming up.

In almost every place in the world rape goes underreported. It seems to be particularly bad in India (though at this time, I don’t have comparisons, but if I run across them, I will compare them), estimates for India are that only 1 in 69  are actually reported and that a woman is raped every hour in India.That means the number of rapes in India are much, much worse. On top of that, of the reported cases, only 20 percent of them actually get convictions. It’s sad because it means so many women are going without justice.

And it seems that little can be done. Women get pulled into cars and gang raped in the cars for 2 or 3 hours. Isn’t that horrible? It seems awful and terrifying to me. One woman was gang raped and then lit on fire.

Equally awful is that incest rape is on the rise and many experts feel these are actually the kind of rapes that happen most often in India, but like others, are underreported. Child rapes are on the rise too, as one in four of the reported rapes are girls less than 16 years old. Though these, like all others, are underreported.

Delhi is particularly bad – so much so that it is coming to be known as the Rape Capital of India, because one quarter of all rapes in India occur there. The statistics work out to a woman being raped every 18 hours in Delhi alone. Apparently, women who migrate from the north-east are raped more and more often in Delhi as well because of underlying discrimination against them. They even tried to get these women to abide by a dress code to “prevent” these rapes.

And often times, rape damages a woman for good socially. There is so much stigma surrounding it in India that a woman often can’t get married after being raped. In fact, one person convicted of rape even used this as a reason to propose before his sentencing, hoping if she accepted her would get a lighter sentence. How twisted is that?

Other attitudes effect victims. There are often very strict ideas surrounding sex and privacy (the idea that this is a family issue and it shouldn’t go beyond that). If you get justice in court, you are often outcast from your family and society. There is also this idea that a woman shouldn’t work outside the home and that when women do this, it “makes” them a target.

Unfortunately, it seems that certain people get a free pass. After a woman said she was raped by soldiers in the army, a protest formed calling for their arrests (which didn’t happen – the government blamed it on the side they were fighting, it happened in the Kashmir area). In a separate situation, one woman committed suicide after no one took action when she was raped at a police station.

And the system is not well equipped to handle it either. The victim has to prove they were penetrated, which can be a hard thing to do. They used to do a “finger test” to see if a woman had been raped. I don’t want to get into the graphic details, but it’s traumatizing and unnecessary. Fortunately, they’re getting rid of this. They’re also getting rid of labeling what a person is wearing as attractive or not, instead choosing that they should only note whether it’s torn or not. The system tries to gather evidence, which is good, but they often forget there’s a person who has just been traumatized. They also recently cut funding meant for victims. The defense will often try to attack the victim as well. Like many places, their laws are good, but they’re not really executed well. However, they have made an effort to come down harder on child rapes.

But there are people working on it. For instance, a charity is releasing an app that sends a text message to five people, including the police, with your location, so that hopefully someone can come and stop it.

For more info, this book might be helpful

I hope you learned something interesting. I know it’s sad, but the discussion needs to be had.


15 responses to “Rape in India

  1. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  2. Ramesh says:

    1) Delhi is the most unsafe place for women in India. But a comparison of the 2007 data suggests that Delhi with 3.57 rapes per 1,00,000 people fared pretty well as compared to the safest city in the US, New York, which recorded 10.48 rapes per 1,00,000 people (according to FBI and NYPD’s crime statistics).

    Los Angeles witnessed 27.3 rapes per 1,00,000 people in 2006.

    By the 2008 figures, even countries like Belgium (29.5 per 1,00,000) and France (16.4 per 1,00,000) had higher cases of rape than Delhi.

    PS: For more details, search on net:

    ‘Rape: New York even worse than Delhi’

    2) Re: ‘….estimates for India are that only 1 in 69 are actually reported…’

    Would you like to share the source of the above statement? Or are you one of those liars who invent their own factual data to support their argument?

    • Melissa says:

      1) I kind of doubt that New York City is the safest city in the US, but if you have stats that can back that up I’d be interested in looking at them. There are many cities I would consider far safer than New York. I believe you that rape is worse in other places than in Delhi. But my article isn’t titled rape in those other places, it’s titled rape in India. I find other places to have equally bad records. The reality is there is way more rape in the whole world than there should be.

      2) I don’t appreciate your tone and for a little bit I considered not even publishing your comment for that reason but let it go through to show you I am not afraid to stand behind the work I do. I don’t invent my own factual data – I listed all my sources below. I believe that came from the first source, which is now a broken link so for your benefit I sought it out on other places on the web and re found it here: and here: and here:

  3. Ramesh says:

    1) I read about New York City’s rape stats in a CNN-IBN news article titled, ‘Rape: New York even worse than Delhi’ – whose link is given below:

    2) I apologize for my aggressive & disrespectful response to you. In fact, I somehow reached on this blog when I was reading about rape cases in India – which had already made me furious about the corrupt and incompetent police of India. And I ended up venting that anger upon you. But at the end it just shows my weakness. On the other hand, your polite response shows your maturity.
    But I must say one thing that the sources cited by you are neither governmental sources nor proper news sites – they are just unauthorized public opinion blogs. In fact, they themselves didn’t cite any source. But you might argue that your original source, which doesn’t exist now, was authentic. Anyway it’s always wise to quote only from standard news/governmental sites.

    • Melissa says:

      1) Oh I definitely believe that the rape rate in New York City is that high, I’m not doubting you there. I just wouldn’t classify New York City as the safest city in the US. I consider many cities, including my own, to be much safer than New York. I tried finding statistics for my own city, but unfortunately, they have it all divided up by district, which is good if you want to know how safe your own neighborhood is, but bad for figuring out how safe the city as a whole is.
      2) Yes, rape cases in India are horrible and shocking. Rape cases anywhere are horrible and shocking but when they go unpunished it is even worse. No, I realize those are not the best of sources, but I was just doing a quick search to see if I could find that statistic elsewhere (to prove I didn’t make it up mainly) because my original link was broken. I try only to pick sources that I think are credible and I try to always offer the links to my sources below my writing, so that anyone else can view them and decide for themselves on the legitimacy. I believe that figure to be accurate or I wouldn’t have posted it, but unfortunately, stats like that anyways are harder to pin down and figure out. Does rape go underreported? Absolutely, but stats like those are always just going to be a guess because the reality is that because they’re unreported we can’t exactly know that they’re happening, they just try and poll people and things like that, but even there people are going to be dishonest, even if they think it’s anonymous. This India Today article estimates up to 90 percent go unreported ( and I think a stat like that anyways is going to vary wildly, because, like I said, it’s very hard to pin down. Unfortunately, as I wrote this article almost a year ago, I can’t remember exactly where that figure came from and what kind of source it was and with the web, everything changes so unfortunately links break and things like that.

  4. madhu says:

    Violence against women is increasing day by day.I do not know what the government is doing.Girls are not safe anywhere.There should be some self defense training in schools an in colleges .so that girls can protect well as a quality education for boys should be there so that they can respect girls.

    • Melissa says:

      Yes I agree. Always, always men have to be part of the picture too. Too many rape campaigns focus on teaching women how not to be raped, but men also need to be taught how to respect women as well.

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