The Socio-etiological factors in Rapes

Unabated incidence rate of the sexual crime over years and decades point out that the causative factors in rapes are not being redressed. While trying to find the causative factors of sexual crimes and rapes in India, there is no literature enumerating the relevant factors together. Here is an attempt to enumerate the socio-etiological factors linked to the unabated or even increase in the sexual crimes against our women whether children, adults or the elderly.

Victims of rapes belong to the varied groups. However, most of the lower- and middle-class girls & women were picked-up or abducted from streets, outside the confines of homes and taken to a secluded place for committing crimes. A large bulk of them were either commuting to or from the places of their work, education, residence or daily errands. A larger proportion of them were alone when stalked, picked-up or abducted.The victims belonged to all groups…rich & poor, urban & rural, working & non-working, highly abled & disabled etc, have different factors for victimisation. There are however, some exceptions too. We have seldom seen the women being picked-up for the crime while in a group. The girls and women of influential families too are seldom attacked. It is however, another matter that those women seldom find themselves in situations that may be detrimental for their safeties. Most of the girls/women who were subjected to the ordeal, were in isolation, at isolated places, singled out with no help coming to their rescues. There are several disadvantaged groups too like unsuspecting children, mentally challenged, destitute, socially marginalised like Dalits and other caste minorities. There are many cases of rape on highly obedient women by their own guardians / seniors such as father or father in law, brother in law and other blood relatives which often go unreported. Some of the reasons that could further be sub-grouped in to factors such as personal, familial, social, environmental etc. are mentioned below: -

A.Personal factors

1.In today’s India Large numbers of single, sexually starved male adults are translocated from their native placesto the cities for their jobs / earning livelihood. Mostly living alone, have vulnerability to commit such crimes. Easy access to provocative materials like porn videos / adult films / company of promiscuous persons may make them indulgent. Under such situations a single, insecure, lonely woman living in their vicinity or passing through, may become their target.

2.When the above group of men get an access to a lone women esp in isolated, dark and secluded places, it makes the situation conducive for the sexual crime.

3.Viewing of intimate scenes on TV / films / internet by the children, both male and female, make them liable to premature sexual activation who later indulge to imitate sexual acts & crimes.

4.Inadequate upbringing of the boys by the parents in not educating on moral values, women’s’ honour & dignity etc make them indulgent. Children of separated parents are more vulnerable.

5.Possession of money / muscle power by the indulgent males with intent to silence the victims of sexual crimes, make the rich & powerful and their perverted sons commit the crimes with impunity.

6.Women lured through mobile / internet chatting, dating often fall prey to offenders.

7.Some open-minded girls / women taking their mates for granted, do get raped by own mates/friends/accomplices.

8.High professional / career ambitions on part of the victims may make them succumb to the sexual overtures of their bosses leading to the crimes.

9.Highly under-privileged girls, differently abled, children are often exploited by their relatives & neighbours alike.

10. Premature sexual maturation or Precocious puberty seems to be taking place among individuals (both male & female) due to variety of reasons who are likely to be indulgent in promiscuous behaviours and fall prey to the rapists.

B.Familial Factors

1.Failure of the parents and elders of the boysin telling them to respect the honour & dignity of the girls/women in society, places of education and work places. There are numerous instances of such parents whose sons had earlier committed minor sexual offences, coming to their assistance in avoiding punishments.

2. Children of indulgent, separated, perverted parents often have different mindset towards others with lesser moral values in society. Many of them have potentials to commit crimes.

3. Children of extremely strict parents have psychological strictures and while trying to break it, often find themselves in a situation that may lead to crimes against them

4.Lack of precautionary parental advice to girl child going to school/ colleges/ offices to avoid situations where they are likely to fall prey to sexual crime. It may sound a bit biased opinion but the fact is that the girls/women must avoid getting in to such situation knowing fully well that there are some men in our society who are trying to prey on them.

5. Children of the poor & economic marginalised daily wages workers left at homes without the attendance of the seniors/elders, often become victims of the neighbours. This factor is responsible for most of the sexual crimes against children.

6.In todays’ nuclear families, the children in the middle-class families are often left on their own with mobile & tablets having internet access, by their parents to spend time while they spend time out of the home. Under such situations, children often come across the sexually explicit images and videos which may make them indulgent.

7. Girls / Women of the highly influential families seldom get in to the situations threatening rape.

C.Social / Environmental Factors

1.Many of the crimes committed in the recent years and decades emulate crime shown in some the of films, porn sites. Surely, the offenders tave learnt their crimes from these films.

2.Some of the ills of the Western culture such as living-in relationship, having a crush, dating, a one-night stand etc are nothing but indulgence leading to sexual crimes.

3.Shame involved with sexual crimes in India is huge. An unmarried raped girl may not find a suitable match in good family. Many married women have been divorced after rape. Stigma attached to the rapes are so huge that it makes many crimes go unreported and in turn, letting the culprits away.

4. Many of our community / society are still of opinion that more often than not, the girls/women are themselves responsible even if partly, for falling prey to the rape for own reasons. Such reasons in their views are in plenty. Talking / mixing with unknown people, having mobile phones, going out of homes unaccompanied, working or venturing among male and so on.

5.Some of the orthodox society inflict conscious punishments of rape to the family of the culprit of varying crimes by passing community verdicts against the woman of the accused.

6.Of late, women are often blackmailed sexually for their often-morphed indecent photographs in social media or their own mobile cameras fallen to others’ hands.

7.Societies having far lesser women to men ratio due to their social customs and beliefs, are especially vulnerable. Men remaining unmarried fall prey to many evil habits incl alcohol and drugs becoming high risks individuals.

8.Retaliatory religious or sectarian violence often target the women of the other group. Bhagalpur in 1967 & 70 against Hindu and 1989 against Muslims, Kashmir 1990 violence against Hindu Pandits, Gujarat in 2002 against Muslims women bear the testimony as a tip of iceberg. There are vast numbers of such occurrences.

9.Easy availability of sexually explicit videos on the mobile phones available with most of the children in a medium/upper class family may be causing precocious puberty among children making them vulnerable to sexual crimes.

10.Provocative turn-out and acts are seldom a cause for the sexual crimes.

D.Govt & Administrative Factors

1.Cumbersome procedures in lodging FIR and insensitivity on part of investigator & lawyers make many victims to shy away from reporting the crime.

2.Indifference of the law enforcing bodies to acts of the eve-teasers, habitual offenders proactively cannot be appreciated. For such lapses, even we the citizen are partly responsible to resist and criticise the police for their high-handedness as we saw in UP when the govt had constituted the ‘anti-Romeo squad’. There were huge hue & cries.

3.In spite of the latest amended law, police reluctance to register and investigate the sexual crimes are often in news. Recently we have seen it in Rajasthan and some other places too.

4.Corrupt police and judiciary often weaken the investigations and trials of the crime.

5. Low conviction rate of the sexual crimes is matter of concern. After the new 2013 amendment in the sexual offence, there was a marginal improvement in the conviction rate which fell back again in 2018 & 2019.

6. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, even the highest Women Administrative group like National Commission for Women (NCW) is often indifferent to the cause of the victims.

7.All successive govts at States and Centre have failed to inculcate the ethos among our younger generation in the schools & colleges through their curriculum and education for respecting the women and their honour. It has to become the top priority for both parents and the educational institutions.

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