Maha unsafe: Rise in crimes against women and children
Experts said a change in the definition of rape, molestation sexual harassment has led to reportage of more cases.Updated: Jun 18, 2019 08:52 IST
Reported crimes of sexual harassment, molestation, and kidnapping towards women have increased in 2018, in comparison to 2017, according to the Economic Survey of Maharashtra. The survey also recorded an increase in reported crimes of abduction and rape of children.
According to government figures, the total reported crimes towards women increased to 33,557 in 2018, from 32,023 in 2017. On the other hand, the total reported crimes towards children decreased slightly to 15,544 in 2018, from 15,681 in 2017.
Experts said a change in the definition of rape, molestation sexual harassment has led to reportage of more cases. YP Singh, former IPS officer and lawyer, said “This is more of an increase in reporting of cases, than an actual increase in crime. A lot of under-reported cases are being reported due to awareness.” The year 2018 saw 14,075 cases of molestation where women were victims as against 12,138 cases in 2017. The year 2018 also registered 7,727 cases of kidnapping where women were victims, against 6,248 cases the previous year, and 1,064 cases of sexual harassment as against 955 the previous year.
There were 4,076 reported cases of rape of women in 2018, against 4,320 reported cases of rape in 2017. The year also recorded 174 cases of dowry deaths, against 233 in 2017, 5,013 cases of cruelty by husband and relatives, as compared to 6,584 cases reported in 2017. There were 159 cases of trafficking and 1,269 cases of other crimes.
Singh said, “Now stalking qualifies as sexual harassment, so there is bound to be more reportage of such cases.”
Against children, in 2018, 9,174 cases of kidnapping were registered as against 8,850 in 2017, and 2,688 cases of child rape were registered as against 2,305 cases in 2017. The year 2018 also saw 169 cases of child murder, under which 22 cases were infanticides, as against 147 in 2017, of which 24 were infanticides.