In Delhi, most rapes within family and neighbourhood

Delhi gangrape
In most of the rapes reported in Delhi this year, the offenders have been members of the victim's family or at least relatives, neighbours and other people close to her. The latest figures compiled by the Delhi police show that out of 662 rape cases reported this year in the city, where a gangrape-murder has led to outrage nationwide, 202 have involved neighbours and 189 have involved friends and relatives, not counting members of the victims' immediate families.

The police say the offenders and the victims knew each other in all but 25 of the 662 cases.

And the victims have usually been underage. The age group with the highest number of victims 286 is 12 to 18, followed by the 18-25 group that has had 167 cases, officials pointed out.

Those arrested for abuse in the immediate family have included fathers and stepfathers. Police said 15 fathers were arrested for raping their daughters and seven of the offenders were stepfathers of the victims, while two were ex-husbands, 17 were brothers-in-law and four were uncles.

Beyond relatives and neighbours, those arrested have included two of the victims' doctors, a principal, and a priest. There have been 16 arrests of employees and colleagues, and 10 of landlords.

Data maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau reveals that of the 45,600 people who are in jails across the country on rape charges, more than 80 per cent were known to the victim. Less than half of those in jail have been convicted.

The Delhi police say they will introduce a slew of measures to improve the working of their women's helpdesk with the assistance of women activists. As of now, a policewoman monitors the helpdesk for women started in 2010 at each police station in the city.

"We are working at deploying more women cop at the helpdesk. It will be monitored by women's NGO representatives. We have also invited suggestions from these groups to improve the handling of our helpline for women," special commissioner (law and order) Dharmendra Kumar said.

Besides the high count of rapes within the household or neigbourhood, officials say a large number of complaints received from wives and daughters are of beating and abuse.

Dr Jitendra Nagpal, a psychiatrist, stresses the need to educate men and women at home. "A large number of women are unaware about their rights and continue to get harassed," he said. "The residents' welfare association could educate each household about domestic violence and women and child protection laws."

THE VICTIMS

5 under 2 years of age

105 aged 2 to 12

286 aged 12 to 18

167 aged 18 to 25

99 over 25

The arrests

202 neighbours

5 fathers, 7 stepfathers,

2 ex-husbands, 17 brothers-in-law, 4 uncles, 3 cousins,

1 stepson, 2 fathers-in-law

189 other relatives, friends

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