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Friday, February 15, 2013

How many rapes take place in India in actuality?

2011 figures from the National Crime Records Bureau of India –  42923 murders (34,305 murders + 8618 dowry deaths) and just 24,206 rapes. But what are the actual, real, figures for rape in India? What is the Indian reality for rape?

(Update - The gang rape of a young photo journalist in the Shakti Mills Compound in August 2013 brought up the gruesome fact that 4 other gang rapes took place in the same area and these crimes were committed by the same people, a criminal gang of four and none were reported by the victims.)

In my estimation - at least 2,40,135 rapes are committed per year in India, not 24,206, and this estimate is a conservative one!  But 4,29,230 rapes every year is probably a more accurate figure! Read on to know how I arrived at this conclusion.

sketch of girl in pain
First lets find out how I arrived at the conservative number of 2,40,135 rapes in India per year.

Methodology: It is accepted that murders/homicides are the crimes most likely to be reported with accuracy and there is also an accepted statistical relationship between murder and rape. Countries like Germany, Denmark, France and the US have the best record for correct reporting of all crime so I used their crime and homicide data as a barometer.

In these 4 countries on an average:
  • Assaults are 100 times higher than homicides
  • Assaults are 12-25 times higher than rapes
  • At least 3 of 4 countries had 7-8 times more rapes than murders. One had a lesser figure but in all cases rapes were far more in number than killings.
In India assaults are under-reported, with assault figures only a little higher than the murder figures (6 and a half times as against over a 100 times in the reference countries!) Shocking! Clearly, assaults are highly under-reported in India and cannot be used as an accurate barometer to measure rapes in India.

Strangely, Indian crime data reveals that rapes are actually lower than homicides - in India!
Fewer rapes than murders? Impossible! In most countries the figures are about 7-8 times more rapes than murders.

woman suffering
(portrait of a woman in pain)

As there are 7-8 more rapes than murders in the reference countries, therefore, India would have had in reality about 2,40,135 rapes in 2011 - that is how I arrived at that figure! But this is assuming that we have just 7 times more rapes than murders, like in the reference countries. And also assuming that homicides are being correctly reported in India. Homicides are a crime which are difficult to hide and we have to assume that the homicide figure for India is more or less correct although dowry deaths have not been included in this homicide figure for India.

If dowry deaths of women are added to the murder figure and assuming a figure of 10 times more rapes in India than homicides (because of a patriarchal society where women are forced into submission and the low status of women who are seen as objects), the rape figure jumps to 4,29230!!

Therefore a more accurate number of rapes in India every year is 4,29,230.

More than 4 lakh rapes per year in India is probably depicts reality better. And this is not even counting marital rape as it is not illegal in India to rape your own wife. Marital rape is probably rampant in India, far more than in developed countries as it is legal to rape the spouse.

Indians live in a patriarchal society where women are supposed to be submissive non-earning partners, and this in conjunction with poverty and ignorance leads to exploitation of women far more than in the reference countries.

homeless women and girls

(Photo of a homeless women)

bus with passengers in India
And this is not taking into account the reported cases of molestation (42968) and kidnapping of women and girls (35565) and sexual harassment (8570). These cases are also under-reported. And then there are the scores of acid attacks on women every year!

Every single Indian woman who has stepped out into a crowded public place or travelled in public transport has been molested or sexually harassed, more than once. The population of Indian women is more than half a billion (1.21 is total population of India) so just calculate the sexual harassment and molestation cases which are probably more than half a billion as women are not molested just once in their life, but up to 7-10 times easily, if not more. And once you count the female foeticide, infanticide, acid attacks and so on, it's not surprising that India is in the top five most dangerous place for women. I think it is the most dangerous place for women. Only countries like Afghanistan and Somalia are worse. Shameful.

More related images: Crime Statistics in India or check out other images on Poverty.


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