Telangana and Andhra Pradesh reported as many as 606 and 971 rape cases, respectively, in 2018 with a conviction rate at 8 per cent and 10 per cent. (Image for representational purpose)
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, of the total 606 rape cases recorded in Telangana, victims in as many as 599 cases knew the perpetrators. The report, titled 'Crime in India 2018', also states that in 32,632 rape cases reported in India in 2018, the accused was known to the victim in 93.7 per cent cases.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh reported as many as 606 and 971 rape cases, respectively, in the year 2018 with a conviction rate of 8 per cent and 10 per cent. The national average of conviction in rape cases stands at 22.9 per cent.
In Telangana, for example, the accused in as many as 84 cases were family members. In 246 cases, the accused was either family friends, neighbors, employer or other known persons. In 269 cases, the accused was either friend, online friends, live-in partners or separated husbands. On the whole, in 98.8 percent of rape cases in Telangana, the victim knew the accused.
Meanwhile, in Andhra Pradesh, offenders were known to the victim in 912 of the 971 reported rape cases. The accused in 64 cases was family members. In 474 cases, the accused was either a family friend, neighbor, employer or other known persons. In 374 cases, victims were violated by either their friends, online friends, live-in partner or separated husband.
"The safety of women is not about the roads and streets, it is also about one's own family set up. Yes, practically most of the sexual abuse happens within the closed doors of the family or known circles. Secondly, even sex with a minor is rape as per the law. So elope cases also some under rape cases where accused is known to the victim. They might be technical rape cases," anti-human trafficking activist and founder of NGO Prajwala, Sunitha Krishnan told indianexpress.com
On the entire focus of women's safety being about public spaces, she said "It's a misnomer. We talk about pepper spray and karate. To use martial arts for one's safety is not a practical solution because most of our safety is compromised in our known circles. The vulnerability when a person uses his power of position in threatening the victim is a big factor."
Adding that there is a need to talk about the safety of women in all spaces, and mostly in private spaces, she lamented that, "In our country, we have not started talking about date rape. That is something not acknowledged or reported and involves someone closely known to the victim."
Echoing similar views, Swati Lakra, IGP (Womens' Safety), Telangana Police, said many of the cases are alleged cheating under the pretext of marriage and POCSO cases where a minor girl elopes from family but because a minor's consent is not taken as a consent under the Act, a case has to be registered.
"It is a situation that is safe or not. It could be unsafe for a woman on the roads as well as within the four walls. We have to see it from a 360-degree angle. It is not only the women that we should focus on but also the perpetrator. How to ensure they do not resort to such behavior," the officer told indianexpress.com.
According to Lakra, the Telangana police have come a long way from these 2018 figures. "There are several initiatives taken and a lot more is being done. We are using technology to a great extent. We are also training our officers in not only investigation techniques in rape and POCSO cases but also in soft skills and gender sensitization," the IGP (Women's Safety) said.
The Telangana police have recently decided to tie-up with the Education Department, Panchayati Raj department and the Women and Child Welfare department. "The idea is to reach up to the level of panchayats. The systems are very good in rural areas. For example, the panchayat secretaries will have knowledge of trouble mongers in each of his villages. We plan to take the help of SERP workers and Asha workers also in spreading awareness," she added.
According to figures, the crimes against women registered in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana under both Indian Penal Code(IPC) and Special and Local Laws(SLL) are on a decline.
Total cases of crimes against women (IPC+SLL)
Year | 2016 | 2017 | 2018
AP | 16,362 | 17,909 | 16,438 (4.3% of the total cases reported in the country)
TN | 15,374 | 17,521 | 16,027 (4.2% of total cases reported in the country)
Total crimes reported in 2016-2018: