The Surging Crime Against Women In Kashmir

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Fidhat Fayaz Drangay

Women are becoming the victims due to domestic violence, social practices, armed conflict and militancy in the state. They are not only suffering from penetrating humiliation and harassment but also suffering from shocking experiences with continued depression that left them mentally and emotionally ill.

The latest figures of the J&K Police reveal that there has been an increase in the cases of crime against women in the restive Himalayan state during the last two years. A report by Crime Branch (CB) of the state police reveals that at least 3363 cases of atrocities against the fair sex were registered by police in 2017 which included kidnapping, abduction, rape, molestation, dowry, cruelty by husband and other crimes. The number rose to 3623 last year an increase of 260 cases compared to the previous year, the report says.

Last year, 1602 cases of molestation and 354 cases of rape were registered by police across 22 districts of the Union Territory. The number of rape cases reported in 2017 was 314. In a worrying trend, 1079 cases of abduction and kidnapping were registered in 2018, showing an increase of 119 cases, compared to 2017.

Violence against women is a complicated issue and an oppressive act against woman’s personality and being. Domestic violence against women is a practice to control their behavior through fear. It is carried out by a husband or his family or a society.

It includes physical and sexual violence, usually accompanied by psychological abuse it’s estimated that from 50% of women in the State have suffered from this kind of violence. 55 % of patients at psychiatry hospitals of Srinagar are women. 15% of the married women face domestic violence.

According to the police reports near about 70% of the cases of crime against women are of domestic nature i.e. cruelty of husband, extramarital affair, dowry, physical and mental abuse.

Whereas the state commission for women realize that superior nature of men is the main cause of domestic violence in the state and among all the crimes rape is more alarming, as it effected almost all the age group of female

Public memory tends to be fragile. It is easier to forget than to remember and relieve each of these atrocities every day. We might choose to push the memories into dark corners of our mind, but the survivors have no choice, they are formed to live with their memories, day in and day out. They say you must forget and move on…. It’s difficult; it’s like losing your eyes and believing you never had them. I am still breathing but not alive.

Women fall victim to traditional practices that violate their human rights. The persistence of the problem has much to do with the fact that most of these physically and psychologically harmful customs are deeply rooted in the tradition and culture of society. Some of these practices in the state include abortion, female infanticide and deliberate neglect of girls.

Different kinds of violence, social and traditional practices against women not only restrict them from receiving education, but also made them unemployed and dependent. Even the educated women are also at the receiving end.

Eve teasing and cyber bullying are also crimes against women. Public places such as markets, streets, schools, colleges, universities, offices, public transportation, etc are hotspots of eve teasing including vulgar gestures, sexual remarks, winking, whistling, staring, touching inappropriately, groping etc.

Only half of the cases are reported officially because women find it difficult to bring such heinous cases in public due to existing stigmas in our society. Especially unmarried girls find it cumbersome job to even report to their families about such cases because their courage gets overshadowed by wrong perception of the society that no one will marry them. And married ones sometimes hide such crimes for the respect of their families and sometimes for the better future of their children. Unfortunately, we live in the society who accepts porn actresses as celebrities and victims of social crimes not even human beings. Women need to speak up and such crimes need to be stopped at the first place from happening. There should be equality in civil code for normal citizens, military and paramilitary forces so that no one can take the refuge in a law against this heinous crime.

Fidhat Fayaz Drangay studies MBBS at Community Based Medical College, Bangladesh.

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