Violence Against Women in India

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Despite the uncertainty over the exact cause of greater numbers of reports of sexual violence against women in India, sexual violence remains an underreported crime because of the stigma and social repercussions associated with reporting such incidents (Asian Human Rights Commission cite). The most recent National Family Health Survey conducted in households across India (cite) from 2005 to 2006 showed that 85 percent of women did not tell anyone about sexual violence they had experienced, and only 8 percent of female victims of sexual violence approached someone for help. According to the survey, those women who came forward with their stories of abuse did so with family members. Less than 5 percent of women who had experienced sexual violence turned to law enforcement authorities, domestic non-profit organizations or non-governmental organizations with resources to help victims of such violence, or medical practitioners (cite). Specifically, just 2 percent of women who had experienced abuse brought their allegations to the attention of police (cite).
The classifications that India’s National Crime Records Bureau uses to group typify the violent crimes committed against women are indicative of the social environments in which such incidents can occur. Categories such as “rape,” “kidnapping and abduction,” “assault(s) on women with intent to outrage her modesty,” “insult to the modesty of women,” and “importation of girls from foreign country” all address violent crimes that
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