Women And Their Security: The Real, True, Stark Picture
Glittering India|March 2018

Here we have something to sit up and really take note of; something which is truly alarming and worrisome in nature.

Rinky Marwaha

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has come up with certain very disturbing facts and figures regarding crimes against women in India. For one, the number of cases of rape hiked up in 2016 by 12.4 percent. This compared rather abysmally with the cut back of 5.6 percent which was recorded between 2014 and 2015 (some say, however that this was because not all cases were reported). Other crimes perpetrated against women kind, such as cruelty by husband, assault, abduction and kidnapping, also went up by 2.9 percent in 2016. Factually speaking, 38,947 rapes occurred in the year 2016, as compared to 34,651 in the year before. In this list, Uttar Pradesh topped the ranks. The state put forth 14.5 percent of all cases of crimes against women. Delhi, sadly enough, the capital of the country recorded the highest crime rate against women among all metros in 2016 (182.1 per one lakh as compared to the national average figure of 77.2). Expert opinion presents the view that these rising statistics could also be because more numbers of cases are being logged in since the police is now required to certainly register cases.

Whichever the case, it does come through that women are not safe. Not safe within the sanctity of their homes. Not safe outside of it, either. Thus, where should they go? They have no place to call their own where they will be totally secure from the claws of wrong-doers. Of those who perpetrate crime, hatred and bloodshed. Women are not safe online as well. Cyber crimes, by definition, mean those crimes which are specific in nature to the computer. These include hacking, e-mail spamming and denial of services attacks, and conventional crimes using the computer (such as theft, extortion, and fraud). Cyber crime, in effect, may call for not just legislation which is against cyber crimes, specifically (the IT Act), but also general criminal legislation (Indian Penal Code).

Cyber crimes have basically been classified into three sets. The first is against property. This includes mail trespassing. The second category is cyber crimes against government which is inclusive of cyber terrorism. The third is cyber crimes which are committed against any given person and this includes blackmailing, cyber bullying, cyber stalking or harassing, sending untoward messages, pictures or comments via e-mail et al. As per reports from the NCRB, cyber crimes rose by nineteen times in the decade (2005-2014). The actual numbers rose up from 481 in 2005 to 9,622 in 2014. Also, cyber crimes against women have gone up much faster than those against men. Under the IT Act, approximately 5,548 cases were reported (of computer-related offence). Of these, 4,192 were under Section 66A. Of crimes which target women specifically, some are: cyber stalking, cyber harassment, cyber bullying, morphing, e-mail spoofing and cyber defamation.

Where, and how, do women feel safe?

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