Are women safe at home?
I know you must be thinking, what absurd this question is? If women are not safe within four walls of her house, then is she safe out in streets of Delhi, where one rape takes place every five hours (as per latest data released by National Crime Record Bureau).
A few years back, I was interviewing a girl candidate for a job in a media house, who was very passionate about building her career in media but she wanted some relaxation in duty time on account of being female. She, said Sir, I am ready to put my best but I need to reach my house before it is dark, as in this unsafe city, Delhi, my parents will not allow me to stay outside after it is dark. I was shocked, but then I told her, that, ground situation is very different, from her parent belief.
I told her that, first at home she is more unsafe, as crime against women, like rape and sexual molestation is not committed outside the home, but inside the home. Second, you are safer with strangers, rather, your own trusted relatives, who constitutes the bulk of offenders, when it comes to crime against women. Third, the number of people dying in road accidents in board day light are much higher then, victims of sexual crimes, so women being safe in day time, even in crowded streets is mere an illusion, rather then fact.
She, was startled now and said that, Sir, I never thought that day and took up the job, without any murmur and good news is that today, she is a leading TV Journalist of the country, with no complaints.
But the bad news is that, even after years, outrage on Nirbhay and many initiatives by governments, things have not improved for women safety in the country rather it has gone to worse. Delhi Police data shows, a whopping increase of 43 % in the number of cases of rape reported between January 1 and June 15 this year, compared to the corresponding period last year.
Cases of molestation have gone up by 39 per cent which cases of cruelty by husband and in-laws have shown a massive rise of 107 per cent. The worst part of this story is that, in most of these cases, the accused were not strangers but either own family members or relatives of the victims.
Cases under Dowry Prohibition Act and those related to abduction of women and cruelty by husband and in-laws saw, respectively, a whopping increase by 239 per cent, 133 per cent and 107 per cent.
It was revealed that in most of the rape cases, the accused were known to the women or were their relatives. However, heinous crimes like murder saw a decline of 13 per cent up to June, 15 in 2020. Total heinous crime similarly recorded a decline of 4 per cent.
In contrast, snatching saw a rise of 43 per cent, with 3, 829 cases up to June 15 this year against 2,612 cases last year. This, rise in snatching is largely attributed to release of prisoners during Covid time, to decongest the jail.
How Women can remain Safe?
We live in a world where goddesses are worshiped and women get tamed, harassed, abused, raped, and kidnapped every single day.
"Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, once and for all." - Hillary Clinton
Unfortunately, many of the women do not know their rights. Remember knowledge is power. As a parent, wife, daughter, employee and a woman these are rights set in place to protect you and it is important that you are aware about these.
Do you know what the Zero FIR provision for women in India is?
On the grounds of gender equality, here are 12 rights an Indian woman holds in India.
1.Women have the right to equal pay
2. Women have the right to dignity and decency: In an event that the accused is a woman, any medical examination procedure on her must be performed by -- or in the presence of -- another woman.
3. Women have the right against workplace harassment
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act gives a female the right to file a complaint against any kind of sexual harassment at her place of work.
4. Women have a right against domestic violence
Section 498 of the Indian Constitution looks to protect a wife, female live-in partner or a woman living in a household like a mother or a sister from domestic violence (including verbal, economic, emotional and sexual) by the hands of a husband, male live-in partner or relatives.
5. Female sexual assault victims have the right to keep their identity anonymous
To ensure that her privacy is protected, a woman who has been sexually assaulted may record her statement alone before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, or in the presence of a female police officer.
6. Women have the right to get free legal aid
Under the Legal Services Authorities Act, female rape victims have the right to get free legal aid or help from the Legal Services Authority who has to arrange a lawyer for her.
7. Women have right not to be arrested at night
Unless there is an exceptional case on the orders of a first-class magistrate, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise.
8. Women have the right to register virtual complaints
The law gives women the provision for filing virtual complaints via e-mail, or writing her complaint and sending it to a police station from a registered postal address.
9. Women have the right against indecent representation
Depiction of a woman's figure (her form or any body part) in any manner that is indecent, derogatory, or is likely to deprave, corrupt or injure the public morality or morals, is a punishable offence.
10. Women have the right against being stalked
Section 354D of the IPC makes way for legal action to be taken against an offender if he/she follows a woman, tries to contact her to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest; or monitor the use by a woman of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication.
11. Women have a right to Zero FIR
An FIR that can be filed at any police station irrespective of the location where the incident occurred or a specific jurisdiction it comes under, the Zero FIR.
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