UNDERSTANDING THE CRIME OF RAPE
‘DEFINITIONS, PUNISHMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS’
The threat and the incidents of rape in societies are alarming. Every day hundreds of rape cases come to front. In hundreds of ways, large and small, a woman’s life is shaped by the persistent threat of rape: women hesitate to venture out at night without attendants, to live alone, to hitchhike, to stay late at the office to work alone, to take certain jobs.The law concerning forcible rape and the way it functions both influences and is influenced by the relationship between men and women in our society. As per recent studies, rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India and 2015 NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) statistics show that, on average, a woman is raped every 15 minutes in India.
FACTORS AFFECTING INCIDENCE OF RAPE
The incidence of rapes is determined by interplay of several factors: Economic, demographic, social, efficiency of the police and judicial systems, and exposure to mass media. One analysis shows that: the more affluent a state is, the lower is the incidence of rapes ; the greater the sex imbalance (or the lower the number of women to men), the higher is the incidence of rapes; the higher the ratio of female workers to male workers, the lower is the occurrence of rapes; the effect of alcoholism is contributory and significant ; open defecation is associated with higher occurrence of rapes – especially in rural areas; and, finally, the higher the conviction rate (number of persons convicted/number of persons registered for committing a rape), the lower is the incidence of rape.
TYPES OF RAPE
Rape is categorized in many ways, such as by the situation in which it occurs, or by the characteristics or relationship of the victim to the perpetrator. These categories are also referred to as “types of rape.” The most common types of rape in present context include:
CORRECTIVE RAPE – Corrective is a type of hate crime targeting non-heterosexual individuals as a punishment for defying traditional gender roles. DATE RAPE –also referred to as “acquaintance rape,” is committed by someone who knows the victim. And then there is ‘GANG RAPE’ , ‘MARITAL RAPE’ ‘PRISON RAPE’, ‘RAPE BY DECEPTION’ and ‘REVENGE RAPE’ besides ‘STATUTORY RAPE’ that involves sexual intercourse or other sexual acts with an individual who is regarded by the law as not being able to give consent. ‘WAR RAPE’ occurs when soldiers or civilians rape other individuals during armed conflict or war. This is seen as a means of psychological warfare. The term war rape is often used in reference to girls or women being forced into prostitution or sexual slavery by the powers occupying a country.
Under Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, as per Section.375 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) a man is said to commit the offence of rape with a woman under the following six circumstances:
- Sexual intercourse against the victims will,
- Without the victims consent,
- With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person that she may be interested in fear of death or hurt,
- With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband,
- With her consent, when at the time of giving such consent she was intoxicated, or is suffering from unsoundness of mind and does not understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent,
- With or without her consent when she is under sixteen years of age.
PUNISHMENT FOR RAPE
Under Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, Section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) is for Punishment of Rape.
Section. 376(A) punishes sexual intercourse with wife without her consent by a judicially separated husband.
Section. 376(B) punishes for sexual intercourse by a public servant with a woman in custody.
Section. 376(C) punishes sexual intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand house, etc. whereas,
Section. 376(D) punishes sexual intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital.
CRIMINAL LAW (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE, 2018
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 to amend the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was promulgated by the President of India on April 21, 2018.
The ordinance proposes to amend Section 376 of Indian Penal Code.
The amended provision proposes to increase the minimum sentence of rape from 7 to 10 years.
The ordinance proposes to incorporate Section 376 (3) which provides that punishment for rape of girl below 16 years shall not be less than 20 years but may extend to imprisonment for life.
The ordinance proposes to insert Section 376AB to provide that whoever commits rape of women below 12 years of age shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine or with death.
The ordinance proposes to punish gang rape of woman below 16 years of age with rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine.
The ordinance proposes to punish gang rape of woman below 12 years of age with rigorous imprisonment for life and with fine or with death.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO ERADICATE / MINIMIZE THE INCIDENTS OF RAPE CASES
Moral education should be taught in every school/colleges.
Women should be given self defence training. There is few form of self defence. How women and girls should protect themselves in the time of crisis. They should carry pepper spray, small knife, and smart phone to take the photos of culprits and to call emergency numbers of his family members, police, and ambulance for rendering help.
Universities and institutions should come forward to do research on this topic. After the report, government should take action on the suggestions given by scholars and team.
There should be separate courts for the trial of rape cases and crime against women to deliver speedy justice. You know the proverb’ Justice delayed means justice denied.’
There should not be any right to appeal in the higher court against the decision of lower court because it delays the justice/ decision. Hence rapist roams freely and again does the same thing.
There is a need of police reform and there should be online FIR registration system. There should be centralised portal to give complain online at state level.
Block all the porn internet sites.
Alcohol consumption should be completely banned.
Impartial and strict censor board to cut the rape scene and vulgarity from films.
The central women commission and the state women commissions contact details should be in public domain and they should help the victim as and when required.
Women should have the right to shoot the rapist in self defence and they should not be tried for that.
The government should commit adequate resources to efforts to track down offenders, while encouraging victims to come forward and lodge reports with the police.
The lawmakers must review the laws and enact fresh ones that would stipulate stringent punishment for all categories of rapists, so as to serve as a deterrent to others. Death penalty /Capital punishment is the only way to curb this menace of rape.
It is need of the hour for government at all levels to strengthen existing laws on rape and ensure their strict enforcement.
Government should put in place institutional framework that would make rape victims to come out boldly without being stigmatised, while it should provide treatment and support for the victims.
The government should also provide counselling for rape victims to prevent them from suffering from “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’’ — a psychological condition which causes acute depression and other emotional disorders.
The state government should provide an enabling environment for civil society groups, religious bodies and other institutions to work together in efforts to tackle the menace of rape.
To curb the rising menace of rape, the state needs the active intervention of every segment of the society. Governments, churches, mosques, journalists, non-governmental organisations and everyone should be involved in the crusade.
Public protests and demonstrations in solidarity with and in demand of justice for rape victims, in demand of strengthening the law and capital punishment for rapists/accused, in demand of putting an end to the menace of rape – are crucial need of the hour. Media has an immense role to play in covering such protests to sensitize world leadership and community towards it. But while protesting, be clear in what you demand without giving any communal, political or religious color to it. Police anywhere should too understand the purpose of such demonstrations and not resort to any kind of violence. It is all about to put an end to this “Menace of Rape”.