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Source: notionpress.com

The word ‘Rape’ has its origin from Latin term ‘rapere’, which means to seize or to grab. Rape is a sexual intercourse or sexual penetration which is done against a person without consent. It is considered to be the sexual violence and a punishable offence/ crime all over the world. A rape victim can be of any age and gender. Indian law held rape to be a punishable offence. Section 375 of Indian Penal Code defines rape as ‘A man is said to commit “rape” if he –

(a) Penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra of a women or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or

(b) Inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the penis, into vagina, the urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or

(c) Manipulates any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration into vagina, urethra, anus or any part of body of such woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or

(d) Applies his mouth to the vagina, anus or urethra of a woman or maker her to do so with him or any other person.

(e) (Firstly) — Against her will.

(f) (Secondly) —Without her consent.

(g) (Thirdly) — With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.

(h) (Fourthly) —With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.

(i) (Fifthly) — With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

(j) (Sixthly) — With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age. Explanation.—Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.’

Section 376 states the Punishment for rape.—

(1) ‘Whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub-section (2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the women raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which cases, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both: Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than seven years.

(2) Whoever,—

(a) being a police officer commits rape—

(i) within the limits of the police station to which he is appointed; or

(ii) in the premises of any station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed; or

(iii) on a woman in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him; or

(b) being a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him; or

(c) being on the management or on the staff of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a woman’s or children’s institution takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or

(d) being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or

(e) commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or

(f) commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age; or

(g) commits gang rape, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be for life and shall also be liable to fine: Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of less than ten years.

Explanation 1.—Where a woman is raped by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention, each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape within the meaning of this sub-section. 

Explanation 2.—“Women’s or children’s institution” means an institution, whether called an orphanage or a home for neglected woman or children or a widows’ home or by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of woman or children. 

Explanation 3.—“Hospital” means the precincts of the hospital and includes the precincts of any institution for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or of persons requiring medical attention or rehabilitation’.

Rape is a violation of human rights. In India, a girl is being rape for every 20 minutes. A recent survey suggests that more than 38,000 rapes took place in the country between 2005- 2019. According to Hindu news on September 2020, New Delhi has the highest reported rape cases. Rape is not only the most common crime, but also the most unreported crime. Compared to all other crimes, rape is the most violent crime. It is a worldwide issue and is not specified to one particular country. It is widely considered to be the most unreported crime.

Rape can have devastating and long-lasting impact on the victim’s life. It leaves psychological scars on her.

Five most dangerous consequences of rape are:

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Social stigma and abandonment
  3. PTSD or Post traumatic stress disorder
  4. Problems with intimacy and trust issues
  5. Fear of public places

The fact that has to be agreed with is that, patriarchal society and gender discrimination are the root causes of rape. Both physical and mental consequences can be faced by a victim post-rape.


Rape is the only crime where victim gets blamed for her suffering. Rape victims not only suffer from the consequences of rape, but also get stigmatized by the society. Perpetrators are empathized. Rape myths are the root cause of victim-blaming culture. The first pillar of attitude towards rape is people blaming victim rather than perpetrator. People are in opinion that a girl invites rape and also believes that rape happens only when she gives her consent. When a rape happens people questions her character and blame her for getting raped. Society considers rape to be a ‘SILENT CONSENT’. In a recent survey conducted over, the views of people are astonishable. People have different opinions, like, “In a case of rape, both the boy and girl are at fault. But why is only the boy being punished? The girl stays at home but the boy is sent to jail. What sort of law is this? Even the girl has done wrong”, “There is a saying which says, you can’t clap with one hand, so as in the case of rape. Rape is a mutual consent”, “Girls should come home on time. When such thing does not happen, it means that a girl is inviting rape”, “Rapes are increasing because of western culture in India. Western clothes like Jeans and skirts provoke men. And here, a girl through implications is inviting rape. People do not accept rape and rape victims”.

Source: www.pri.org

Rape case of 23- year old girl in Delhi has shown horrific effect on today’s India. Nirbhaya’s case has led to many amendments. One of the perpetrators, Mukesh Singh, has given an interview to BBC with regard to his prison life experience and made sensational comments over the rape victim Nirbhaya. He said “A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy”, he also added “Household and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good. When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then we would have dropped her off after ‘doing her’ and only hit the boy”. He went on “The death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won’t leave the girl like we did. They will kill her. Before they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she will not tell anyone’. Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl”. These are the views what the defending lawyers also have. Attitude of people towards rape and rape culture haven’t changed since 2012. They stayed unchanged..! Some of the Indian politicians also made some bizzare and dumb statements with regard to the rape victims and rapes. People often consider wardrobe of women to be responsible for the sexual violence and abuse they experience. A report designed by Indian youth suggests that more than 65% of Indians assume westernization to be the root cause of rape. People of India are in an opinion that Indian women would be less at risk if she doesn’t wear western clothes. Regressive attitudes towards women are rooted in India’s deeply traditional and conservative culture, in which women embody a family and communities . India is extremely rich in politicians with rape allegations. BJP MLA Kuldeep, Anoop Sanda from Samajwadi Party, Bikram Singh Brahma from INC, Rohit Tilak from National youth congress, congress MLA Vincet, any many other politicians face rape charges in past.

Politicians of India do use rape as a political tool to increase their vote bank. In today’s world, rape is a political issue with dynamics of religion, caste and misogyny. Rape is no longer confined to women and to candle- light marches in market squares. It is something beyond all these. It has become a political tool and political act. Politicians rather than ensuring the safety of women they do got involved in rape cases. Famous Unnao rape incidents took many political turns after MLA Kuldeep was charged with rape allegations. Father of the victim died in police custody, the victim and her advocate were dashed by an anonymous lorry, all these incidents led to suspicion. Another example is the rape case of Hathras, where a 19- year old Dalit woman was gang raped on 14 September 2020 and the perpetrators left her injured. She died at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital fighting for her life. The girl was later cremated in the middle of nigh with family members claiming that police ignored their pleas to bring the body home one last time. The police authorities whisked the body and burned at midnight, which is nothing less than an attempt to destroy evidence.

Just like politicians using rape as a political weapon, some people do use rape as weapon to blame their opposite religion. Just like in the rape and murder case of 8- year old girl of Kathua District of Jammu and Kashmir, where the girl was abducted and gang raped in a temple. The victim is a Muslim and the perpetrators were Hindus. And later she was pelted with a heavy stone to death. People rather than discussing the facts of the rape case and assault, the topic took a 360 degree turn, where it ended up in Hindu versus Muslim debate in the country. It is also suggested that a couple of ministers from ruling BJP party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in the protests held by Right-wing Hindu groups like the Hindu Ekta Manch in support of the perpetrators .

The media have been showing effect on people’s myths about rape. Media coverage about rape has a lot of impact on people’s attitude towards rape culture and rape victims. According to reports, more than 93 rape cases get registered in a single day, where most of them do not find place in news-papers and other media platforms. A recent Australian study on media representations of violence against women which examined the nature of reporting about violence against women in2016, found that nearly one of six reports imply that victim must share the blame of the incident . 16% of media reports say that victims had kept themselves at risk. Opinion of public over rape remains on how media portrays the case. One of the root causes of rape and rape culture is the advertisements and magazines presented on media. Media have to break down the rape myths that are wandering in the minds of people.

Case of Mukesh & Anr v. state for Nct of Delhi & Ors (famously known as Nirbhaya Case) was used for political gains. Political fight broke out after the gang-rape in Delhi. Politicians made headline for making sensational comments over the victim’s death. Politicians have turned the horrific crime into an election issue. Since ages, rape has evolved to be a political weapon.


In rape, victim is destroyed and left alive to face the consequences of the destruction every single day. The process of law is lengthy, cumbersome and expensive. Delayed trials reduce the chances of victim getting justice. Despite rape being a horrifying crime, this crime is on rise. Now-a-days rape is being used as a weapon or a political move to seek revenge against the enemy. Rather than protesting for justice, politicians started taking advantages of the horrific crimes. Often, protests become resource for certain kind of religious and caste politics. Political biggies continue to make sensational and controversial scripts: boys will be boys, sometimes good sometimes bad, alcohol causes men to rape, girls should get married at young age. Delayed trials are strengthening up these politicians. Despite rape being a heinous crime, it became a political issue with the dynamics of religion and caste. When a rape happens, the utmost importance is given to the community, caste, religion and political background rather than the facts.

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