State tops in incest rapes
Maharashtra and Rajasthan have the dubious distinction of highest number of incest-rape cases registered in 2011, as per National Crime Record Bureau figures for 2011.
In 2011, 267 incest-rape cases were registered in the country of which 43 were in Maharashtra and Rajasthan each, which accounts for more than 15.3%. Of the 43 cases in Maharashtra, four were from in Mumbai.
“One of the reasons why Maharashtra topped the list could be because there is more awareness here, resulting in more cases registrations. The only way to curb incest-rape is to ensure that child is comfortable discussing the issue with at least one member in the family,” said Dr Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist from Mumbai.
“In many cases, the child does not even understand how to explain what he/she had gone through. Also, schools should discuss such issues with children and teach them to inform either their parents or teachers in case they become victims to such offences,” he added.
The maximum number of incest-rape victims in Maharashtra are in the age group of 14-18 years (14 cases), followed by 18-30 years (10 cases) and 10-14 years (nine cases). The remaining six victims are 10 years and below.
In 2011, 15,728 rape cases were registered in Maharashtra, of which in 1,699 cases the offenders were known to the victims. In 43 cases the victim were raped by the parent or a close family member. While in 97 cases a relative was the offender, in 566 cases it was the neighbour.
It has often been observed that in incest-rape cases, the victims do not discuss their ordeal with another family member fearing that no one might believe them. Hence, they continue to be victimised for several years.
Many cases also go unreported as even after the problem has been addressed, the family does not approach the police fearing social stigma.
Usha Kiran Makasare, senior council for CBI and former public prosecutor who fought against women atrocities, said: “The conviction rate in incest-rape cases in high unless the victim turns hostile after being pressured by the family. The victims face severe mental torture as they are raped by the person they trust and then they have to narrate their ordeal again and again — first to the family then to the police and court.”