Crime Against Women: Rape cases in India


The highest number of rape cases are found in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Chhattisgarh. In 2018, Madhya Pradesh was highest at 5,433. Similarly, Rajasthan was highest by 5,997 in 2019 and 5,130 in 2020.  Even though so many cases are reported, the conviction rate is rather very low. In 2018, the conviction rate was 27.2% and 27.8% in 2019.


Over the last few decades, India has witnessed phenomenal growth. In spite of all the development and growth, women are still victims of horrendous crimes. According to a report of the UN published in 1980- “Women constitute half of the world’s population, perform nearly two-thirds of work hours, receive one tenth of world’s income and fewer than one hundred percent of world’s property.” The status of girls in India, both historically and socially has been one of respect and reverence.

Sexual violence against women possesses an anxious situation for Indian authorities. In recent times, all the governments have focused on the increasing number of crimes against women and seem worried by the volcanic growth in the numbers.

Thus, it motivated us to study on this topic as women safety is a major concern in our country India. Here, the study focusses on the rape cases that are reported. Remarkably, the research doesn’t include the number of cases which are not reported.

What is Crime against Women?

Crimes against women include cases of rape, outraging modesty, dowry deaths, harassment, acid attacks, and kidnappings.

Right from the time of her birth or even before, a girl could become a victim of a crime or target of a crime. There is a saying, “When she is born, her life is controlled by her father, after marriage by her husband, after the death of husband by her son.” 

What is Rape?

Although the proper definition of rape is itself a matter of some dispute. Section 375 of Indian Penal Code relates to the offence of rape. A man is alleged to commit rape when he penetrates his penis to any extent into the vagina of a women. How far it’s gone inside vagina is immaterial. Even slightest penetration of penis by a person into the vagina of a women amounts to rape. This often so because clause (a) of section 375 says that penetration by a person of his penis into the vagina, mouth, urethra, or anus of a women is rape. It is known to be the fourth most common crime against women in India.

Even though many rapes are not being reported in the country, it is an issue that continuously makes news headlines, some leading to public protests. According to reports published in Times of India (2008), rape is the fastest growing crime in India. In the past few years, the report from the ministry suggests that India stands at the third rank on the list of crimes against women.

We Indians used to believe and still believe in the concept of “Matri Devo Bhava” which means to worship women or mother, but the concept seems to disappear due to arise of rape cases. According to the National Crime Report Bureau (NCRB), in average one rape takes place in every 6 minutes. It implies, approximately 100 rapes in a single day.

Why are rape cases rising day by day in India?  

One of the main reasons behind raising rape is due to the male-dominated society. Women have a low representation in such societies and many men think that women are only born to be used. Hence, women are limited to household activities, sexual activities andso on.

Other reasons of rising rape cases are due to the ignoring the relationship between poverty and violence, the stigma and blame attached to rape, lack of proper gender education, and also the difficult path to justice. 

Number of cases reported in India from 2010-2020

Registered rape cases in India on 2019

STATESADULT (Above 18)MINOR (Below 18)
Andra Pradesh582544
Arunachal Pradesh6339
Himachal Pradesh162147
Jammu & Kashmir21211
Madhya Pradesh24850
Tamil Nadu3539
Uttar Pradesh2895270
Uttarakhand Pradesh342184
West Bengal10654

The above data shows registered rape cases based on adult and minor victims. Basically, these are the numbers of the filed cases by victims and complainants that reached the police station in 2019. Rajasthan reported highest at 4,685 in case of adults and 1,313 in case of minors.

Top-5 States reported in 2018

In 2018, among all the states in India, Madhya Pradesh ranked highest with 5,433 cases following Rajasthan with 4,335 cases. Uttar Pradesh was third with 3,946 cases and Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh with 2,140 and 2,091 cases respectively. 

Top-5 States rape cases reported in 2019

The data of the Top-5 states of India where cases are reported in 2019. So, 5,997 of cases were reported by Rajasthan, 3,065 of cases were reported by Uttar Pradesh, 2,485 cases by Madhya Pradesh and 2,299 cases by Maharashtra.  Kerala reported 2,023 number of rape cases. 

According to Gehlot who is police officer of Rajasthan (June 2019), “Registration of FIR is the fundamental duty of police which is done under section 376 and complaints about hesitation in registering FIR or about behaviour will not be tolerated. Importantly, there is no need to worry if more FIRs lead to rise in crime figures.”8 It means, rape is never been decreased but there is increased and decreased in number of cases on the basis of registration.

Top-5 States rape cases reported in 2020

In 2020, the total number of Rape cases has decreased compared to the previous years. Even though many cases were not reported, thousands of rape cases were reported in different States. In 2020, over 5,000 of cases were reported in the India. Most rape cases were reported by Rajasthan by 5,130, Uttar Pradesh (2,769) Madhya Pradesh (2339), Maharashtra (2,061), Assam with the lowest (1,657).

The reason behind the declination of cases may be due to the impact of pandemic. During the pandemic, if someone get victim, she can’t able to fill FIR due to the lockdown. Therefore, we can’t predict that the number of rapes has been declined.

From the above three different years data, it is found that Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have the highest rape cases. It may be due to increase of the awareness for fighting against crime among all. Importantly, it may be due to the police officer motivates and registered the cases. 

Are all females victims?  

Let’s look at the stages in a woman’s life and discuss the threats briefly. Just as the stages vary, nature of crimes varies too. Here’s a report showing age-wise rape cases registered in 2020.

Although, rape is committed in age between 18-45 years. Along this, it is happening with any age group of women. So, from this we can say that, rape is not due the dressing sense of women.

Conviction rate according to years wise

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data of 2019, 88 rapes take place in India everyday on an average. However, conviction rate is as low as 27.8% which means out of 100 accused, only 28 gets convicted. Expressing concern over the low conviction rate, even Supreme Court had observed that 90% of rape cases end in acquittal.

Conviction rates were high in 2017 as compared to 2018 and 2019. The conviction rate declined by 5% from 2017 to 2018 and increased nominally by 0.6% from 2018 to 2019. By evaluating the data, it is clear that, there is high crime rate then the conviction rate. This may be due to the lack of proper evidence and authorised person are not focusing of this matter. As on average, the conviction rate is under 30% means rest 70% of accused are walking freely outside and repeating same activities.


From the data that we have collected, it is found that 2016 has the highest reported cases from 2010-2020. States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have remarkably high rape cases. That might be due to the awareness to fight against the violence.

Women of age ranging from 18-32 years old are most victim of rape. This may because they are active and are able to fight against anything. But it doesn’t mean above 32 years are not active. Yes, they are active but most of them are married and being raped by their own family members. So, they are fear of losing their family prestige.

Similarly, the age below 18, they don’t know what exactly is happening with them and mostly suffer from fear of sharing with their parents, teachers or others.

Rape is not ending of life, but there is life after rape.”


  1. Statista Research Department (Oct 2021), reported in victim of rapes in India 2020 by the age group
  2. Pawar R.P. (2019), Crime in India 2019 (588), National Crime Record Bureau, statics vol. 1
  3. Pawar R.P. (2018), Crime in India 2018 (2018), National Crime Record Bureau, statics vol. 1
  4. Gupta R. (Sep 2021), Telangana record highest number of crimes, the Indian express
  5. Malavika M. (Dec,2021), more than 3 cases of e-times against women reported in 2020 says govt., Hindustan Times
  6. Violence against women (March2021), WHO Crimes against women, Women Laws India
  7. Kakkar P. (2021), Crime against women, Legal Service India E- Journal
  8. Khan H. (Sept 2021), Rajasthan record highest number of cases for second year running, The Indian Express

Binisha Ghalan, Bipana Ale Magar and Tenzin Nordonm
Rishihood University

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