The Himalayan Times, December 16, 2019
Despite concerted effort by rights activists, government and non-government bodies against sexual violence, number of rape cases registered with police have increased by over 146 per cent in the past six years.
Right activists and police attribute the increase in rape cases to more victims coming forward to lodge complaint against rape. Police record showed a total of 905 rape cases were recorded in 2013-14, which increased to 2,233 in 2018-19, an increase by 146 per cent. Rape incidents increased by 50 per cent in 2018-19, in comparison to the previous fiscal where 1,480 rape case were reported.
Number of rape cases have witnessed an unprecedented rise in the current fiscal year. Police have already recorded as many as 752 rape cases and 267 attempt to rape cases from Mid-July to Mid-November in 2019- 20. Number of rape cases recorded in the first four months of the current fiscal is just 153.
Police had recorded only 154 rape cases throughout the country 15 years ago. Mohana Aansari, a member of the National Human Rights Commission said although consciousness among girls and women to report rape crime has been increasing, many rape cases go unreported due to lack of proper reporting mechanism. “Rising number of rape cases being reported to the police suggest rise in rape incidents across the country,” Aansari said.
Meera Dhungana an advocate and women rights activist said although regular activism might have inspired more rape victims to come forward, rape incidents have also been increasing across the country.
“Only a few women and girls, who would otherwise remain silent fearing stigma after being raped might came forwarded to file the case due to their raised level of awareness. But, a large number of women from rural area and under privileged background or those who are victims of incest seldom report their abuse to the police,” said Dhungana, adding that rising number of rape cases reported to police suggested that rape incidents were on the rise.
DIG Bishwaraj Pokharel and spokesperson of Nepal Police said rise in the awareness level of the victims and support from their family had encouraged more women and girls to file complaints against the crime. “It is true that there has been increase in rape incidents across the country, but it is also true that more rape cases, which otherwise would go unreported, have been reported to the police these days,” Pokharel said. He added that misuse of social media was one of the key reasons for the rise in rape incidents in the country.