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Balatkar, the term for rape, is frightening only by itself. It is one of the most prevalent criminal activities in India. The word “rape” is so horrifying, degrading, traumatising, and terrible that it completely devastates the psychology and affects the victim’s deepest emotions. The Latin term “rapio,” which means to take away, is the source of the English word “rape.” Therefore, forcibly stealing something from someone would be considered rape and would be obviously illegal. Forced behaviour refers to engaging in an activity without another person’s permission. The notion of Maatri Devo Bhava, which means to worship women or mothers, was originally held in high esteem in India. The idea of Maatri Devo Bhava, however, appears to be disappearing now given the number of rape incidents that occur every day in India. Rape is a crime against society as a whole as well as the victim personally. The offence is so profoundly repugnant that it even constitutes a crime against fundamental human rights. Due to its extensive character, the word “rape” cannot be defined by a single definition. Only the person experiencing it is aware of it. Rape can therefore be categorised as a sex offence.

The Supreme Court established the following criteria for what constitutes sexual harassment in its ruling of the landmark case Vishakha and others v. State of Rajasthan:

  • Physical progress and contact
  • any proposition for sexual favours
  • Any sexually oriented comments about the physique
  • displaying pornography
  • any other forced sexual behaviour, whether it be physical, verbal, or nonverbal.

Therefore, the Supreme Court of India concluded that sexual harassment was a breach of basic rights in this case. Sexual assault constitutes a violation of articles 14, 15, 19(1)g, and 21.

According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, a male is considered to have committed a rape when there has been sexual contact with a woman in any of the following situations:

  • Without her consent
  • Without getting her permission
  • It is prohibited to get permission by making the subject fear for their life.
  • when the consent was illegally obtained by telling her she would one day be her spouse.
  • when the permission is granted by someone who is not of sound mind, is drunk, or is incapable of understanding the nature of giving the consent.
  • under the age of 16, with or without the girl’s permission.
Rape is considered to have occurred if any of the below circumstances are true.
  • According to Section 376 of the IPC 1860, the penalty for rape is a minimum of seven years in jail and a maximum of life in prison as well as a fine.
  • The punishment for victims who remain in a prolonged vegetative condition is mentioned in Section 376A. Such offences are punishable by a minimum of 20 years in jail and a maximum of life in prison.
  • Sexual contact between a husband and wife while they are separated is mentioned in Section 376B. The penalty for doing so must be at least two years in prison, with a maximum sentence of seven years, as well as a fine.
  • According to Section 376C, engaging in sexual activity while in a position of authority is punishable by a minimum of 6 years in jail and a maximum of 10 years in prison as well as a fine.
  • According to section 376D, gang rapes must result in a sentence of at least 20 years in jail, with the possibility of a life sentence, as well as a fine.
  • The 376E IPC states life in prison or the death penalty as the punishment for serial offenders.
  • According to the Indian Penal Code Section 228A[2], it is illegal to reveal the identity of a rape victim, and anyone who does so faces a term of up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.
Reasons why India has an increase in sexual violence cases:
  1. One of the causes of the problem of sexual violence in India may be the low number of female police officers. A woman is more likely to disclose her case to a female police officer when she is being raped. In New Delhi, historically speaking, there are just 7% female police officers. According to statistics, there is only one female station house officer among Delhi’s 161 district police stations.
  2. The Indian culture apparently implies that the victim’s sense of dress is to blame for their current situation. This was demonstrated in a poll of Indian judges, where 68 per cent of participants agreed with the thesis. harsh but true.
  3. Domestic abuse is accepted in Indian society as something that deserves to happen. In one of its reports, UNICEF discovered that 53% of Indian girls and 57% of Indian boys believe that beating a wife is acceptable.
  4. No public safety – In the majority of Indian society, women who engage in immoral behaviour, such as drinking, smoking, or late-night partying, are more likely to be sexually assaulted. Women in India are obviously not safe in public areas if the general populace believes and is happy with this kind of justification for rape.
  5. Discouragement of rape victims to compromise: In Indian society, no family is prepared to acknowledge that a member of their family has been raped, hence victims are frequently advised to avoid the chaos created by rape in the police station. The majority of rapes in India are not even reported because of this.

The single most critical aspect that will result in a significant drop in the number of rape cases is raising the boys properly from infancy. When a rape occurs in Indian society, only the victim is investigated; the rapist is never brought up for questioning. The victim must deal with countless inquiries from society and is occasionally even held responsible for the rape. However, when a robbery occurs, no one confronts the victim and tells him that it was his fault. In an identical vein, no one confronts the victim’s family. All members of Indian society are engaged in teaching rape victims how to avoid it or protect themselves, but they do not instruct the other side of the party on the dos and don’ts. Many of us aren’t even aware that guys in India are subjected to as many rapes as girls, but they choose not to discuss it because there are no support services available. Even with regard to rapes, the laws are prejudiced towards women. Because they will be the ones to change society in the future, everyone must adopt the habit of educating and raising awareness about good and wrong in society.

By Pranjal