Rape tops list of crime against women in Nepal

Kathmandu, March 2

Cases of crime against women and children such as trafficking, polygamy, child marriage, rape, attempted rape, domestic violence, and accusation of practicing ‘witchcraft’ continues unabated in the country, despite enforcement of stringent laws against them.

The country has recorded as many as 2,296 complaints related to crime against women and children in 2015/16, while 1,213 incidents have already been dealt with in the first six months (mid-July to mid-January) of the current fiscal, police statistics show.

Of the 1,213 incidents of crime against women and children, rape incidents topped the category of offences with 534 cases reported and dealt with, followed by attempted rape cases at 275, polygamy at 242, trafficking in person at 122, accusation of practicing witchcraft at 14, child marriage at 13,  and domestic violence at 3.

According to the statistics, Kathmandu Valley registered and settled 67 cases of rape in the running fiscal year. Theregistered crimes included cruelty at the hands of husbands and close relatives as well. Most of the rape victims were under-age girls.

Police attribute the increase in rape to more women coming forward due to greater public awareness but say that many more cases go unreported, as women are often too scared to come forward to lodge complaints of rape or domestic violence.

According to the police, cases of rape and sexual violence has increased not only in the Valley, but also in other parts of the country despite remarkable decrease in other crimes like murder, attempted murder, suicide, use and smuggling of arms, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and vehicular homicide.

The report also claims that the police maintain zero-tolerance against any forms of violence against women and children, and asserted that they have managed to nab all perpetrators of rapes and rape attempts. Police also stressed that the victims should report to the law enforcement agency should any physical and mental torture be meted out to them.

“The increase in rape cases means an increased public awareness and improved reporting. Prompt crime investigation and increasing public trust in police have made rape victims come forward with complaints against the perpetrators,” said the report.

In some cases, men and women have consensual sex, and the alleged victim files a rape complaint against the man with police when their relationship turns sour, said a senior police official.