During 2020-2021, a total number of 26,513 complaints of crimes against women were registered by the C&I Cell of Commission according to the data available with NCW. These are the highest crimes reported since 2014, nearly half of the cases/complaints are from Uttar Pradesh.
“For poor women, there is no one, and there is no movement like #MeToo, we have been suffering and we will suffer, being a woman, being poor, and with the stigma of it all,” says a domestic worker from Uttar Pradesh working in a posh colony of New Delhi.
Women have always remained vulnerable to atrocities. Even though Indian women have learned to put up with lewd gestures and catcalling on the streets and in workplaces for ages, the law is of little help in curbing the barbarity as many of such crimes occur in the close confines of home by close or distant relatives or by the person known to the victims.
The data reveals that a large number of complaints concern the right to live with dignity, dowry harassment/cruelty to married women, and police apathy. The following data indicate the top ten categories in terms of registration of cases in having the highest number of cases.
The data of NCW further reveals that the commission receives more complaints from the northern states.
The highest number of complaints were from Uttar Pradesh (10,084), followed by Delhi (2,147), Haryana (995), and Maharashtra (974), the commission said.
The data is conservative as it is limited due to the crimes that were reported. A lot many cases of abuse and violence against women remained unreported or undocumented due to certain Indian cultural values and beliefs. Also, women fear coming out, especially when it’s related to the crimes committed to them by their husbands or kin members.
When it comes to reporting a crime. especially when it’s about sexual abuse or rape societal pressure and fear of stigmatisation hold women to come out and report.
Many non-physical forms of harassment like-the lewd gestures, uncomfortable staring, public masturbation, etc are hardly reported in absence of clarity from the law.
However, NCW chief Rekha Sharma said there has been a rise in the complaints because now women are reporting the crimes as the commission has been making people more aware of its work.
According to her “the commission has always made it a point to launch new initiatives to help women. Keeping in line with this, we have launched a round-the-clock helpline number as well to provide support services to women in need where they can also register a complaint,”