CRIME AGAINST WOMEN

Crime against women
A crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. Crime against women has been on increase. It has existed in the past in almost all countries, regions, cultures and communities. The crime has much to do with the existing low status of women prevalent in our society. The violence is at various levels. It is at physical, mental, emotional, domestic and public. They are the most oppressed, subjugated section of society. Though various measures at education, economic independence have been taken but they are far from improving their status which directly or indirectly help at increasing crime against women.
If we look back historically, the status of women during Veda period was good. They were equal to men and had high esteem in society. But subsequently their position in society deteriorated. They began to be treated like animals, often beaten by husbands. Women were deprived from getting education. Their activities were limited to household chores and help in reproduction. A girl child born was considered to be curse in society. They had no independent existence.. Dowry system is still rampant in our society. Widows were looked down upon. System of sati was prevalent which even snatched the right to live. They had to die with their husbands on the funeral pyre.
The range of crime against women is very wide including rape, wife beating, bride burning, child marriages, prostitution, sexual harassment, etc
Legal provisions related to sexual offences against Women
Outraging Modesty of women
The law (Section 354 IPC) makes it a special crime to use force against a woman, or even threaten to use force, if the intention is to ‘outrage her modesty’. It treats it more seriously than normal and criminal force by allowing the police to make arrests for such crimes without a warrant.
The law does not explain what ‘outraging modesty’ means. Courts usually make this determination by looking at all circumstances surrounding the incident. The Supreme Court referred to ‘modesty’ as feminine decency and a virtue that women possess owing to their sex.
The punishment is jail time of between one and five years along with a fine.

The Stalking
According to Section 354D IPC, Stalking is –
• Continuously following a woman or contacting her,
• Either online or in person
• Where she has clearly shown she doesn’t want the attention
The section makes an exception if a person is stalking a woman as part of a legal duty to do so.
Example: Jeevan is a police officer tracking down a drugs shipment and has been monitoring emails received by Stuti. This would be covered by the exception.

Punishment
The punishment is jail time of up to three years along with a fine. If someone is found guilty of committing the same crime more than one time, the punishment is jail time of up to five years along with a fine.e punishment is jail time of between one and five years along with a fine.
New Offences relating to Women
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 added many new sections in the IPC, keeping in view the various new forms of offensive activities against the safety and dignity of women. Some are discussed below-

Disrobing a Woman (Stripping) [Section 354B]
Section 354B penalises the offence of assaulting or using criminal force to a woman or abetting any such act with an intention to disrobe or compel her to be naked, with a punishment of not less than three years which may extend to seven years with a fine. It is a gender specific offence i.e. only a man can be punished under this section.
Sexual Harassment [Section 354A]
This new provision was originated in a judgment of the Supreme Court dealing woth the issue of sexual harassment at workplace. Through the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, Section 354A was inserted in the IPC which defines the offence of ‘sexual harassment’ and set down punishment for it.

According to Section 354A, a person shall be guilty of the offence of sexual harassment against a woman in the following circumstances-

If he makes physical contact and advance unwelcome and explicit sexual act;
Demands or requests for sexual favours;
Shows pornography against the will of a woman;
Make sexually colored remarks.
The punishment for the offences specified under Section 354A (1) (i) to (iii) is the rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or both and in the case of sub clause (iv), it is imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or both.
CONCLUSION
Notwithstanding the number of laws to protect and safeguard the rights and interest of the women, the rate of crime against women and victimization is mushrooming day by day. It is well said that it takes two to tango. It implies that only laws are not responsible to regulate and control the augmentation of the crimes against women in our society. But society same responsible for that, so this is the duty of us to take care of it

WRITTEN BY
Raghav jagga

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