As women, the fact that we constantly have to negotiate for our space in this world is an open secret. Sometimes the situation is worse than others. When I don't get an auto or a cab immediately after stepping out from work, I can't help but be on the edge on the desolate street leading up to the main road. Just by happenstance, if two men are walking right behind me, I hold my breath and increase my pace, hoping that they mean no harm. Because that's what it all boils down to. Irrespective of the society constantly deeming it to be a woman's fault for being out and about during any time of the day - we are all walking on thin ice, hoping that a stranger doesn't invade our private space.
In such dire circumstances, every day in the city of Delhi is like a personal triumph. And the statistics don't say anything different. According to the recent data released by the National Crime Records Bureau, Delhi reportedly registered 40 percent of the rape cases among 19 other major cities. And it is no surprise that rape cases saw an overall increase of a whopping 12.4 percent from 34,651 cases in the country in 2015 to 38,947 in 2016. It is tragic that from the victims of rape cases nationwide, 94.6 percent knew the accused. Contrary to the popular perception that it is a crime mostly committed by strangers.
One of the criteria of good governance is also how safe women are in the country. NDA must take the report seriously n concrete measures must be taken to provide safety n security to children n women.#NCRB
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) December 1, 2017
Delhi landed the top spot in kidnapping and abduction – 5,453 cases (48.3 percent). At 182.1, the crime rate in the National Capital is more than double of the country's average of 77.2. Yes, we win the highest numbers of murders committed in the last year, too!
And if that wasn't enough, it is also the most unsafe city in the country for foreigners as well. Out of 382 crimes reported by foreign nationals, 144 were from Delhi. It is very disappointing that in spite of being the capital of the country, Delhi is still struggling to acknowledge and combat the overwhelming number of crimes, which seems to be on the rise every day.
I am not from the city and know for one that my parents are always worried when I am out of my house apart from the usual office hours. It has become exhausting to live in this constant fear that I might be harmed in fatal ways, even when I am on the guard and have been least expecting it. It has been almost five years since the Delhi Gang Rape Case of 2012 whose brutality sent the whole world into a tizzy. The Delhi police have since strengthened its watch on the city, sensitized its approach towards victims and there have been efforts to make the city safer for women. And yet, here we are, back to square one. The city as mortifying as it was before.
Apart from releasing yearly reports, the government needs to toughen its approach and come up with stricter measures and policies to ensure more accountability among its implementing forces. It is high time women stop feeling threated in every surrounding they find themselves in.