Over 80% rise in rape, molestation cases in Mumbai since 2013: Report

Over 80% rise in rape, molestation cases in Mumbai since 2013: Report

The number of rape and molestation cases reported in Mumbai hit an all-time high in 2018, said a Praja Foundation report that recorded these figures over a five-year period.
Between 2013 and 2018, the number of rape cases registered have increased by 83% per cent and molestation cases have risen by 95%.
While it is difficult to ascertain whether the increase in numbers is due to more people reporting crimes or rising incidence of these crimes, experts say the numbers are indication that women and children are becoming more vulnerable in Mumbai.
Praja Foundation is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works towards enabling accountability in governance. It described the figures in its report as “a mixed bag”. “Police should work with NGOs and other organisations to tackle the trend of rise in these crimes. It cannot be necessarily tackled through only policing, but must also involve communities,” said Yogesh Mishra of Praja Foundation.
According to the report, 792 cases of rape were reported across Mumbai for the financial year 2017-18. This is a sharp rise from last year’s count of 576. In 2013-14, 432 rape cases had been registered. The number of cases of molestation (2,358) in 2017-18 was also more than in 2015-16 (2,145).
Police officials credit the increase in the number of cases to women actively speaking out against sexual harassment. “The Mumbai Police have been taking several steps, including sensitising police officers. The ‘police didi’ initiative has also been instrumental in earning women and children’s confidence,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson Manjunath Shinge.
Looking at the figures gathered over the past five years, the incidence of violent crimes against women and children shows a sharp rise. In South Mumbai, which includes affluent areas like Worli, Colaba and Malabar Hill, witnessed a 172% per cent increase in the number of rape complaints filed in 2018, as compared to 2013. North east Mumbai, which includes Mulund, Ghatkopar and Shivaji Nagar, saw a 99% per cent increase in this time-period. While some of this may be attributed to factors like growing population and demographic shifts, experts say the figures also reflect a changing mindset.
“There is certainly an increase in reporting of sexual offences as women are getting more assertive,” said criminologist Vijay Raghavan. He also said that it was possible that some men were reacting violently to resistance from women. “We are living in times where there is a fight for greater equality amongst the sexes. In such cases, men don’t give up their [position in the] social hierarchy easily,” he said. Raghavan added that such crimes are also on the rise because there is limited trust in the police machinery.
Source - Hindustan Times

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