What do you think is behind rise in crime against women?
There may be various factors. It could be a byproduct of changes in societal setup, fading away of the joint family system, less fear of law and increasing unemployment. Very often, there is not an actual increase in crime but more cases get reported owing to increased level of awareness. This is a result of the media coverage these issues receive these days.
What about Gurgaon, considering the city’s Gurgaon’s demography?
In the specific context of Gurgaon, the three most prominent reasons appear to be sudden urbanisation, influx of migrant population and change in economic status of people. With more nuclear families coming up, there is a lack of mature social understanding in this new urban setup. Also, Gurgaon is home to a large number of migrants. Since their families don’t live here, a false sense of freedom makes them think they can get away with anything. Many of them are unemployed, and are drug addicts and alcoholics. Then there is the neo-rich population who have sold their land and come to settle in Gurgaon. Though they are affluent, they hold prejudices regarding socially accepted behaviour. They think that having money gives them a licence to mistreat women.
Are there any culture-specific reasons for the high rate of crime in Gurgaon?
Being a male-dominated society, many incidents are suppressed in Haryana. Not only is there pressure from men in the family, but also from females who don’t want the family to get into any legal mess. This is why crime against women is going up as the offenders are aware that most of the cases will be hushed up.
Are there any set behavioural traits/circumstances that make women more susceptible to such crimes?
Women who live alone and work during odd hours are easy targets. Also, women who attend late-night parties and indulge in drinking or smoking are perceived to be ‘easily available’ by some men.
What would be your suggestion?
I would suggest that women who have been victimised should not be suppressed from expressing themselves. They should rather be encouraged to report the incidents.