If Nepal Police data is anything to go by, a rape is committed every 24 hours in the country. Blame it on the male dominated social structure and the culture of impunity , but rape statistics reveal an alarming trend.
Police said 376 cases of rape and 101 attempts to rape were reported from July 2009 till the same period this year. According to statistics, on an average, one rape is committed every 24 hours. Police said many instances of this crime could have gone unreported due to fear of reprisal and social stigma. In July this year alone, 52, the highest number of rape cases were recorded. December 2009 saw the lowest instances of rape, 19, reported. The victims range from toddlers to the elderly. Of the reported victims, over 30 were gang-raped.
“The criminal mindset within the human being is the prime cause behind such violence against women and children, both in rural areas and urban centres. Moreover, male dominance is linked to rape in patriarchal social structure” said Nepal Police Spokesperson DIG Bigyan Raj Sharma. “Pro-active policing and bringing the guilty to justice are not in themselves enough to fight such crimes. Massive awareness is needed.”
Many of the victims were found to have been raped by acquaintances, neighbours and close relatives.
Police have made 215 arrests for sexual assault and molestation of women and children last year. Law has it that those guilty of raping girls below 14 years get from six to 10 years, and those raping girls above 14 get three to five years in prison.