India’s Rape Problem – Why do Rapist’s Rape – Why India is also called Rape Capital – How many are Fake Rape Cases

“It takes two hands to clap, you can’t refute that. A ‘proper’ girl wouldn’t be out at 9 PM. Girls are far more responsible for getting raped than boys for raping them. – A rapist during an interview

“Madhumita Pandey, she was 22 years old when she went to the Tihar Jail in Delhi to interview 122 rapists to answer only one question, “Why do rapists’ rape? “A similar story to Samuel D. Smithyman’s, a PhD student in 1976. He had published an ad in the newspapers in Los Angeles, he wasn’t expecting anyone to reply to his ad, but 200 people did reply. Who were these people? Rapists! Samuel then interviewed 50 people and published a research paper.

Why am I telling you about Madhumita and Samuel? Because their research is crucial to help us comprehend the reasons behind Jharkhand’s recent incident. “On Friday, a foreign tourist in India put up a video on Instagram, she had bruises on her face. She had been gang-raped by 7 men during her trip. “In July 2023, a couple of motorbike vloggers came to India through the Pakistan border. They said, “Hello India, after 5 years of travelling the world, we have finally arrived in India. “Before this incident, they had been travelling for 6 years where they visited 66 countries including Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, they had been in India for 6 months and had travelled for about 20,000 km. The couple was travelling through Jharkhand and going to Bhagalpur in Bihar, and in the Dumka area of Jharkhand, near Kumrahat village, they pitched a tent to spend the night but unfortunately, that night, a crime was committed against them. The 28-year-old woman was raped and her husband was brutally beaten and Jharkhand Police responded quickly, they arrested all accused.

The couple was given financial compensation. Now, the couple has gone to Nepal, the victim also said that the Indians were nice to her and that she doesn’t blame the Indians, she blames only the criminals. The tweet that made this incident go viral got 200 million views! Yes, 200 million views. It started a debate on social media. Rapes happen all over the world, so why is India being singled out for it? A few years ago, a Thomson Reuters poll showed that India is one of the most dangerous countries for women, even worse than Afghanistan and Syria.

But is India’s situation actually that bad? Some people say that in India, men are sex-starved, that’s why there are so many rape cases, others talk about fake rape cases but what’s the truth?

We will go through all of these, especially about a rapist’s psychology, some of this information may shock you. First of all, we need to understand the context, how bad is this problem in India compared to other countries? According to the World Bank, 30% of women in the world face some form of sexual violence. If we look at Indian Government’s data, in 2022, 31,516 rape cases were reported. Some of you may say that that amounts to 90 rape cases each day, but we do need to understand that India is the most populous country in the world so on an aggregate level, every crime is committed the most in India. So, we need to look at it on a per capita basis. We have data from 2013. The number of rape cases per 100,000 population. That’s 27 in the USA, 36 in the UK, and 60 in Sweden and in India, it is only 2.6. So according to this rate, the rape situation in India isn’t that bad but there’s a problem with this “Reporting”.

Based on the National Crime Records Bureau’s data from 2015, about 85% of sexual violence cases in India are unreported. There are many reasons for this, the victim may not have faith in the legal system, the victim is often pressured into not reporting the case and often, the police don’t file a complaint. So that’s why, in many countries, the rape rates are high not because it is a major problem there, but it might be because the legal system is so competent, that all instances of crimes are reported. The second problem is that the legal definition of penalising rape/sexual harassment is different in different countries. For example, in India, it’s defined as “unlawful sexual intercourse against the will and without the consent of a woman. “Indian Penal Code has given further clarifications. For instance, if the girl has given her consent but is under the age of 16, or if she has been blackmailed or threatened into consenting, or if she is a person whose mental health isn’t stable, in these situations, consent will not be considered valid and any sexual intercourse will be deemed rape. If you compare it with other countries, the definitions do differ for example, in European countries, if there’s a non-consensual sex between a married couple, it is considered rape but the concept of Marital Rape doesn’t legally exist in India. If we consider the instances of marital rape in India, then according to the NCRB data, the percentage of unreported cases goes up to 99%. Due to these reasons, it becomes difficult to judge India based on its rape statistics, that’s why we need to look at other statistics.

In legal terms, domestic violence is defined as “cruelty against women by husband and relatives. “It’s one of the most reported crimes in India, 32% of Indian married women said that they had to face some form of physical, sexual, or emotional violence caused by their husbands. This percentage is 24% in the UK and 24.3% in the US. Many countries are in a worse situation than India for example, in Bangladesh, this number is 65%.

We can also look at statistics on public harassment, 80% of Indian women said that they have to face public harassment in Indian cities. This number is 77% in the US, 71% in the UK, and 93% in Afghanistan. These statistics show that India’s situation is not the absolute worst in the world but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about this problem, to tackle this issue.

We need to understand why do rapes take place and to understand this, let’s first understand, what is a rapist’s profile?

There are 3 characteristics in the Indian rapists’ profile.

  • The relationship between the rapist and the victim. According to the government data from 2022, in 97% of cases, the rapist was a known person to the victim.97% cases. There is an award-winning documentary from Jharkhand’s Beirut district. “Ranjit was a farmer who went to attend a wedding with his family. Ranjit returned home on time, but his 13-year-old daughter was late. She reached home at 01:30 AM, in a terrible bad state. The girl had been raped by her cousin”. This doesn’t happen only in India. American research has also shown that the victim usually knows the rapist.
  • The second characteristic is that most rapists are young. A Bengaluru study has shown that most rapists are between 21-30 years old. This is the case in other countries too. In fact, this graph from the US shows that most crimes are ccommitted by young boys. This isn’t India-specific either, there has been a lot of research on this. The main factor is peer pressure, Boys are under a lot of pressure from their friends to become a man, “Be a man” This includes toxic masculinity traits which result in rape.
  • The third characteristic is that most rapists have a low level of education for example, when Madhumita Pandey interviewed the rapists in Tihar Jail, it was found that many of them had dropped out in the 3rd or 4th grade. Obviously, the sample size of 122 rapists is quite low but this is true in other countries too, for instance, in South Africa, only around 50% of rapists had passed primary school. Another reason for this can be that uneducated individuals lack financial resources and therefore struggle to get legal help. This is why, most of the inmates around the world, are uneducated and poor.

Now we come to the question, why do rapists’ rape? One way to get to the answer is to ask a rapist directly. “A ‘proper’ girl wouldn’t be out at 9PM, Girls are far more responsible for getting raped, than boys for raping them. “This is what Madhumita Pandey did, Madhumita found out that many rapists think this. “I am not a rapist. “Yes, I had sex, I did not take consent for it or, ‘what is consent? “Or, ‘No, I was not sure that she was saying no.

She interviewed a 49-year-old rapist who raped a 5-year-old child, and she asked him why he did it, Madhumita was shocked by his reply. The rapist said that the child’s ‘character’ was bad, and so she had to be punished. Madhumita asked if he felt bad, the rapist said that he did feel bad because he ruined her life. Since she’s not a virgin anymore, no one will marry her. But he is willing to marry her after serving his sentence. This was a disturbing statement that gave us a glimpse into the psychology of a rapist that the rapist did feel bad but not because he raped the child but because the girl may not get married due to this. This shows us the lens through which rapists look at society.

Professor Mary Koss asked several rapists, if they had forced themselves on their victims, they said yes then, she asked them if they had raped the victims, they denied it. The research shows that rapists don’t feel remorse rather, they blame the victim. This is known as Cognitive Distortion.

Let’s also put some light on the problem of Fake Rape Accusations.

Vishnu Tiwari from Uttar Pradesh, In September 2000, he was 23 years old when he was convicted for a rape but 20 years later, the Allahabad High Court stated that there wasn’t sufficient evidence for the conviction. Vishnu said that the dispute was actually about a piece of land, he hadn’t even talked to the girl, they just wanted money.

Vishnu is not the only one. How big is this problem of fake rape accusations? Based on NCRB data, there were 45,000 reported rape cases in 2022, but only 27.5% of them resulted in convictions, there was no conviction in more than 75% of the cases. This can be due to two things, First, the victims are pressured into changing their statements and second, the rape case might be entirely fake.

In 2013, data journalist Rukmini Srinivasan studied 500 rape cases. She said that in 25% of the cases, parents filed rape cases on behalf of the girl because the girl ran away from home with a boy, so these 25% of the cases are entirely false. Data from Jaipur showed that 43% of the 330 reported rape cases were false.

Retired Justice of the Supreme Court B.N. Shri krishna said that “The rape laws were being misused in this country and there is no doubt about it. “Unfortunately, due to such issues, a serious issue like sexual violence is being debated because of the eroding public trust and when the real victim goes to file a case, it is often doubted by the people.

Despite this problem, many people are trying to solve India’s sexual violence issue like the NGO Breakthrough in Haryana which launched a program called Taro Ki Toli. They go to the government schools in the state, to have open discussions with children about gender roles. It’s not just a one-time 30-minute-long session, after 2.5 years of these sessions they have made a positive impact. The research shows that children who participated in this program, developed a more progressive attitude.

If we want to improve our society, we need such programs., demanding capital punishment can give us a short-term boost, but always remember that long-term solutions are possible only with such educational programs.

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