Mumbai: Women are more likely to report abuse and sexual attacks after the 2012 Delhi gang-rape known as the Nirbhaya case, but there has been little or no impact on arrests and convictions rates, according to a study published in February 2019.
Written by Alison Saldanha, IndiaSpend
Over two years to 2015, the annual average reporting of rape cases in Delhi was 23% higher compared to the annual average over a decade to 2011, the study showed. The average annual reporting of molestation and sexual harassment during 2013-2015 was 40% higher compared to the annual average before the Nirbhaya case.
On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old female student was beaten and gang raped by six men in a moving bus passing by a middle-class South Delhi neighbourhood. After the brutal attack, she was thrown out on to the roadside, and 13 days later, succumbed to her injuries. The crime sparked widespread public protests and garnered international attention. As Indian law forbids revealing the identity of the victim, she came to be called ‘Nirbhaya’, the fearless one.
“The Nirbhaya case and the events that followed constitute an exogenous shock,” the authors Akshay Bhatnagar, Aparna Mathur, Abdul Munasib, and Devesh Roy wrote in this Ideas for India article from April 29, 2019. “The unprecedented media coverage, the widespread sympathy the victim evoked, and the scale and intensity of public outcry witnessed in the aftermath of this gruesome crime, may have emboldened victims to come forward and demand justice.”