If there is one common thread among all Indian states when it comes to rape of women and children, it is that the accused was known to the victim in majority of cases.
Data from National Crime Records Bureau, 2016 shows that 94.6 % of victims/survivors knew the accused.
Madhya Pradesh had the highest number of rape cases with 4882 being reported.
Of these, victims in 4789 cases knew the perpetrators or the accused. In Uttar Pradesh that came second, out of 4816 total rape incidents, accused were known to victims in 4803 cases.
Maharashtra reported 4189 rapes out of which victims in only 63 cases did not know the accused.
In the five South Indian states, Kerala recorded the highest number of rapes with 1656 cases registered in 2016. Karnataka stood second with 1655 rapes recorded in the same year, followed by Telangana (1256), Andhra Pradesh (995) and Tamil Nadu (319).
Of the total rape cases, all the 994 victims in Andhra Pradesh were known to their rapists.
In Kerala, victims in only 29 cases out of 1656 did not know their rapists.
Karnataka too followed the same trend with victims in only 13 cases out of 1655 not knowing the rape accused.
Of the 1278 rape cases in Telangana, victims in 1254 cases knew the perpetrators and in Tamil Nadu, the perpetrators in only 2 rape cases were the accused strangers.
This data contradicts the popular perception that rape by strangers in public places is the biggest threat to women. A perception that has stopped women from being denied opportunities.
In several cases across the country, the perpetrators of rape were either the victims’ immediate family members, close relatives, distant relatives or neighbours.
Rajasthan topped the list of states which reported rapes committed by immediate family members. This includes the grandfather, father, brother, son etc. Of 3656 rape cases in Rajasthan, 147 were committed by immediate family members, followed by Maharashtra, with 96 such cases. Delhi stood third with 56 out of 2155 cases being perpetrated by immediate family.
In Kerala, 73 of the total 1656 rapes were committed by members of the victim’s immediate family. In Karnataka, the victim’s immediate family were implicated in 16 cases.
The numbers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were comparatively lesser. In AP, victims in 6 cases were allegedly raped by their immediate family members, while the corresponding data for Telangana was 1.
Shockingly, 1851 rapes in Uttar Pradesh were committed by the victims’ neighbours, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Assam with 1115 and 985 such cases respectively.
As many as 585 rapes were committed by the victims’ neighbours in Kerala. The corresponding figures in Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are 463, 355, 361 and 92 respectively.
The NCRB data also shows that most number of rapes committed in metropolitan cities were by persons who had promised to marry the victims.
Madhya Pradesh topped the list with 1592 cases in the category followed by Maharashtra (1422) and Uttar Pradesh (1195) .
In South India, Tamil Nadu recorded 138 rapes committed by perpetrators who had promised to marry the victim.