Women most at risk from friends and romantic partners, data shows

Women continue being at highest risk of being sexually assaulted or exploited by their friends, social media friends and romantic partners, data released by the Mumbai Police shows

Representative image 
Representative image

Gautam S. Mengle / Mumbai

Women continue being at highest risk of being sexually assaulted or exploited by their friends, social media friends and romantic partners, data released by the Mumbai Police shows.

The statistics were made public at a press conference held in Mumbai where annual crime statistics for the last three years were released by the Mumbai Police top brass.

According to the figures compiled by the police, out of 888 offences of rape under the Indian Penal Code registered in 2021, 570 were allegedly committed by friends of the victim, social media friends or romantic partners with the false promise of marriage. Out of these, the victims in 271 cases were minors, while the remaining 299 were adults.

Further, out of the 888 rape cases registered in 2021, victims in 364 cases were minors, which is more than half of the total cases.

The same trend was also observed in the previous two years as well. In 2020, 398 of the total 766 registered rapes were committed by this category of accused, while in 2019, the number stood at 539 out of 1015.

People employed by the families of the victims, like servants, gardeners or drivers were the second highest in the type of accused, while family friends or friends of family members made up the third highest category.

This year, the police undertook a new initiative towards safety of women by compiling a record of known sexual offenders and taking preventive action against them.

“While earlier, we used to maintain records of history sheeters like burglers, robbers, dacoits and motor vehicle theft accused, we have now started doing the same for sexual offenders who have targeted women and children. In many instances, such offenders have also been externed by zonal Deputy Commissioners of Police,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and OrdeR) Vishwas Nangre Patil, Mumbai Police.

The police had this year also created Nirbhaya squads, dedicated teams of personnel from each police station to specifically prevent and act against crimes against women in their respective jurisdictions.

The year gone by also witnessed a small increase in cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. While there were 932 cases registered in 2020, the Mumbai Police registered 1051 cases in 2021.

Cyber crimes, too, showed an increase in number. The city recorded 2435 cybercrime cases in 2020, and 2883 in 2021. However, the detection rate also improved vastly, from 9% in 2020 to 16% in 2021. The Mumbai Police established five new cyber police stations in the city in 2021, and the detection rate for these five police stations alone stands at 59%, as compared to 13% for other police stations, officials said.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring Navi Mumbai police commissionerate, which also released its annual statistics on Wednesday, recorded 212 cases of rape in 2021, which is an increase by 87 cases as compared to 2020.

“In all the cases, the accused were either family members of the victim or closely known to them. The detection rate for rape cases in Navi Mumbai in 2021 was 100%,” Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Bipin Kumar Singh said.

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