Rape on rise in season of sex scams

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Atrocities against the weaker sex had never before attained the demonic levels as in the present-day Kerala society.

Not a day passes without news getting reported about rapist fathers and colluding mothers and their paramours who exploit minor girls and push them into the flesh trade.

Women are no longer safe even in their own homes, let alone at the work place or trains or buses or the streets.

The recent tragic death of a girl (Soumya) at the hands of a handicapped co-passenger in a local train has raised pertinent questions about the lack of or insufficient response from people when faced with the plight of a fellow being.

Many sex scandals involving minor girls have hogged the limelight because of the alleged involvement of high-profile politicians and film stars. Despite the media blitz, however, justice has so far eluded the victims. Be it the Kaviyoor case and Kiliroor and Vithura sex scandals in the past or the Paravur, Kothamangalam scandals in recent times, while the modus operandi of the sleaze trade may change, the victims’s helplessness doesn’t.

On the one hand, women’s rights workers and other socio-political activists clamour for more safety and security for women. But the abuse keeps happening and assuming new forms.
According to the statistics by Kerala Police Crime Records Bureau, cruelty against women continues unabated. Particularly on the rise are rape cases, the report observes.

As many as 546 rape cases were registered in Kerala in the first six months of the current year while the total number of such cases registered in the whole of last year was 634 and the corresponding figure for 2009 was 568.

"Going by the crime graph, it’s possible that the number of rape cases in the current year might cross 1000,” said a senior police official.

Similarly, the number of kidnappings of women and minor girls have already crossed 100 (101) till June this year, while there were 173 and 184 cases respectively in the last two years. The sexual harassment cases too were high with 350 cases for the six-month period against 395 and 537 cases for the whole of 2009 and 2010 respectively.

While the number of sexual harassment cases charge sheeted for the first six months this year was 350, the figures for the whole year of 2009 was 395 and 537 last year. There were also close to 2,000 (1820) cases so far this year, a few hundred cases less than the figures of 2009 (2540) and 2010 (2936). The cases of cruelty by husbands or relatives are also high.

Social activists are alarmed by the trend and attribute it to a fall in moral values of the younger generation and the failure on the part of authorities to ensure strict implementation of laws.

“No longer are relationships sacred in families and the parents are not too bothered about what their children are doing. Internet has made children susceptible. Add to it, the desire of teenagers to become famous and make a quick buck and his makes them easy prey for sexual predators,” politician and social activist K.K. Shylaja teacher observed.

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