India: Crimes Against Women, Total Number of Rape Victims

Being an American-born Indian woman, I have trouble remembering my many vacations to India with fondness when I see headlines about rape in India. These headlines are constant; there is sexual assault on women happening every day in India. With so many heart-wrenching media headlines, I began to wonder if this is just a media obsession, or has the rate of rape actually risen recently in India?

Interesting finds:

  • It seems that rape reports have decreased overall from 2014 to 2015. The cause of this drop is due to a drop in rapes of the 0-18 year age group. Perhaps parents are being more careful about allowing their children to go out alone or at night.
  • A majority of the years, Delhi (India’s capital) had the most reported rapes of any Union Territory. Regarding states, Utter Pradesh made #1 nearly every year. Utter Pradesh borders Delhi to the east. Is it possible that Delhi and UP’s cases are related?
  • Mumbai, India’s most populous city, is encompassed in Maharastra’s (Mumbai’s state) reports. Trailing closely behind, Delhi, India’s second largest city, has more than half the number of Maharastra’s rape reports. It can be inferred that Delhi’s rape rate is higher than Mumbai’s rape rate.


  • Reporting rape (or any kind of sexual assault) is extremely difficult for a woman in India. There are many factors a woman must consider before bringing allegations to her local police force: family reputation, rapist’s reputation, being young and unmarried affecting future relationships, corruption of local police forces, fear of publicity, and more. Since it is a difficult decision for Indian women to report rapes, we can assume that we’re looking at a certain (maybe small) population of a total number of rapes.