December 16, 2012.
It’s a date that remains etched in our memories not just because of an event that took place in Delhi that left one woman dead. The woman, now popularly referred to as ‘Nirbhaya’ became representative of the risk every woman faces when she steps out for something as mundane as work or a film with a friend.
Since the death of the victim, a lot has apparently changed. New laws have been enacted to expand the scope of rape, punishments have been increased and funds have been created to create more facilities for the safety of women. But are women really safer as a result?
Data from the National Crime Records Bureau shows that since the 2012 gangrape case there are more cases being reported across the country of crimes against women. These include crimes like kidnapping:
When it comes to the number of rape cases as well there’s been a rise. However, there’s also been a rise in the number of convictions too.
Unfortunately, the number is still so low, it’s really of little comfort . Take a look:
The number of convictions in all cases of crimes against women also isn’t exactly heartening:
Even in the case of Delhi, the site of the infamous gangrape, there’s been a steady rise in the number of cases of crimes registered against women:
And even when it comes to rape, the number of cases has risen, while like the rest of India, the conviction rate remains low:
The rise in the number of cases may also be a mirror to how much more women are reporting cases to the police, and them being recorded. The charts above also doesn’t take into account the number of cases in which chargesheets weren’t filed or the cases were dropped, which is a small percentage of the total.
But the low conviction rate and the sheer number of cases show that while we may have more reporting of cases, India really hasn’t become any safer for women.