15 Reasons That Prevent Women From Reporting Violent Crimes To The Police

Unsafe, trudging under fear and being subject of vehement evil crimes, India's women continue to suffer. Condition of women in India evidenced by- crimes committed against them going skyward up to 20% in 2015- couldn't be more pathetic. With Delhi Police alone registering 7124 rape cases in 2015, one wonders what would be the status of crime against women in rest of the country?

And then there are all those crimes that aren't even reported. So what stops women from reporting crimes and instances of sexual offence to the Police?

1. "What if he comes back and does it again?"

Fear of retaliation and further violence. Victims of insidious crimes and sexual offences measure aplenty. And most women fear stepping out in the open and letting themselves free to the gaze of an unpredictable larger public. In most cases, mental fear and anxieties have made women become easy victims to perpetrators and as a result, they fail to report crimes committed against them.

2. "The sentencing and punishment doesn't even remotely match the crime"

Renowned activist Kavita Krishnan has shared while number of cases of crimes against women haven't decreased despite minor upping in reporting, one feels the country's justice delivery mechanism has let women down. Women today fear that they won't be helped and this causes them to fear for their dignity.

3. "There is no point in reporting it, nothing is changing or improving"

There are everyday increasing fears that on account of the overall increase in inner-city crimes, led by thefts, burglaries, kidnappings(whopping 2014-15 stats) et cetera, perpetrators get motivated to take chances against women. So regardless of how many times you report a crime, chances are their numbers will only increase. But this is a bias, that Indian women would do well to shrug off. 

4. "Log Kya Kahenge?"

Another serious downer that deeply hurts the psyche and thus impacts the sense of pride of an Indian woman! Whether its rape, simple eve-teasing or cases of widespread molestation, women fear reporting crimes to Police simply because they are too concerned about their collective social image. Why not quash this mental stigma once and for all?

5. "She only wants publicity for herself"

Like the veritable case of 'crying wolf' the few cases where women have misled the cops, raising false alarms about a sense of danger to their security, makes it easy for the genuine cases to be looked at with a jaundiced eye. It's not fair, but one cannot give up. Women must fight for their right to justice.

6. "They'll make it seem like it was my fault"

Couldn't this get any more dismal in the world's largest democracy? The lack of action, rather inept actions taken by the Police, the moral and official defenders of justice and security have led to many women shying away from reporting crimes. Numerous past cases in West Bengal and Maharashtra saw women being questioned and their moral values being doubted when genuinely seeking the help of law! 

7. "The cops themselves are violent and can victimise me"

Mental Health expert Avdesh Sharma in a statement revealed that over 30 percent of women feel the law is not in safe hands. Women fear for their well-being from the very people who are supposed to protect them! And every now and again, women undergo a blithe and torrid time spending hours in local police stations trying to explain the wrong committed against them. Often, it all falls on deaf ears.

8. "My family will be socially ruined"

Yes, you got that right. Fearing that their family's social image can be threatened upon reporting gross misdeeds to the Police, many Indian women continue to suffer silently. This is a self-inflicted tragedy and needs to be done away with immediately.

9. "Everything else in my life will get ruined"

Who will give me a job? How will people treat me? How will friends and colleagues react? Will the society, enterprise and my company accept me? It is true that easy victims to mischief and even gory crimes, women are neglected and sadly looked down upon in India. And they deserve to blame the collective society every bit. This has to change.

10. "No one will marry me now that I've been molested"

In India, for some reason, unlike the West, marriage is fast becoming a forced dictum, a process into which one is often dragged instead of being a celebration that someone would happily partake in. Many single women who are molested and even raped are shattered fearing that their sense of dignity has been hurt to such a decree that none will entertain the thought of marrying them. 

11. "I've been going out with him, no one will believe me now."

Unfortunately, 20 percent of the cases (especially age groups 18-35) where women have either been teased, molested or subjected to apathetic physical undoing, their perpetrators are none other than someone known to them. Fearing again massive societal backlash, they refrain from seeking judicial or legal help. 

12. "I will be humiliated and made to relive everything."

As if things weren't already bad, this one makes it all the more tragic. Women in India have had to explain in sad, gory details about the horrors they experience and yet, in many cases, even lengthy explanations do not warrant the crime to be labeled as a rape.

13. "There is no safe place for me to talk and get some relief."

Indian educational institutions are to be blamed for this. There's hardly ever any initiation toward education women about their rights, the standings of the law and the coherence of the existence of a system that can guard women's honor and defend their safety. As a result, women shy away from reporting crimes.

14. "I'll be stuck in court forever, only for the rapist to either be let off or released with a sewing machine as a gift"

In many cases, the mere thought about having to withstand pressures of multiple court dates, repetitive interrogations- from lodging an FIR to getting justice is a long tiring fight. Many women simply give up hope of ever finding the righteous being done to restore their honor.

15. "I don't know and there is no one to help me"

When the world turns the back on you, go and turn your back to the world. Women at some level, have to take matters into their hands. And in due course of time, the Police too have begun to warm up to our heroes. Women its time you heard about 'Project Didi'. A project implemented to reduce instances of 'sexual crime against women', Mumbai Police women have initiated a social outreach program, working well beyond their official hours to interact with slum and local girls and women. This builds in tremendous faith and confidence between the common woman and the law. 

India is trying its earnest bit to change the way it can safeguard women- our symbol of pride. Therefore, it is fitting that through goal-driven campaigns such as Project Didi where Mumbai women have a friend in 1000 Police Didi's - some change has finally begun to take place. May this only increase down the road. 

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