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1.1 Background of the study

Globally, rape is not a theoretical problem because it keeps revealing its ugly face in every community. This brazen masquerade's brutality has deeply ingrained itself into both developed and emerging economies. It is noteworthy that the definition of rape and the laws pertaining to it differ significantly between and within nations in terms of the behaviours that qualify as sexual assault. Mattis (2022) Mattis (2022) refers to rape as the deliberate act of engaging in non-consensual sexual touching or coercing and physically compelling an individual to participate in sexual activities against their volition. According to him rape and sexual assault are criminal offenses of a grave nature, distinguished by distinct terminology to delineate varying forms of misconduct. Udekwe (2017) mentioned that sexual assault encompasses a range of actions that involve the non-consensual engagement in a sexual act, resulting in the violation of an individual's bodily, psychological, and emotional well-being. The act may encompass coercing or persuading an individual into seeing or engaging in sexual activities.

Evidently, Tewkesbury (2017) opined that the definition and legal framework around rape vary significantly among nations and even within them, with regards to the specific acts that qualify as sexual assault. In the United Kingdom, the offence of sexual assault is defined as non-consensual physical contact, specifically 'touching'. Conversely, the Supreme Court of Canada has established that sexual assault is not contingent solely upon contact with a particular area of the human body, but rather encompasses any sexually motivated act that infringes upon the victim's sexual autonomy and integrity. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2022), rape is defined as the act of forcibly or coercively penetrating the vulva or anus, regardless of the degree of force used, using a penis, other bodily parts, or an instrument. The act of engaging in such behaviour is commonly referred to as an attempted rape. Despite variations in statutory conditions for rape across different nations, such as the requirement for the perpetrator to be male and the victim to be female in some jurisdictions, the fundamental nature of the offence remains consistent: non-consensual sexual penetration.

Unarguably, Morgan & Kena  (2017) averred that rape is now the fourth most prevalent crime against women in India and  like in other parts of the world, most rape crimes go unreported.Sexual slavery and mass, organised rape can happen when there are international conflicts. The crimes against humanity are these practises. When rape is carried out with the intention of completely or partially eradicating the targeted ethnic group, it is also recognised as a component of the crime of genocide. In India, rape ranks as the fourth most frequent crime against women.The number of rape cases in India is rising daily. The Indian Express reported on January 5, 2016, via (Crime in India (2020) that there was an increase in rapes in Delhi in 2015. The report said that there were an average of six instances each day. In comparison, 2085 rape incidents were recorded in the same period in 2014, while 2095 crimes were reported in 2015. According to Delhi Police Commissioner rapists between the ages of 21 and 35 make up 70% of offenders.A total of 24,923 rape crimes were recorded in India in 2012; of these, 24,470 were perpetrated by someone the victim knew (98% of the cases), according to the National Crime Record Bureau's 2013 annual report.The most disturbing truth is that the victim knows most of the abusers. According to NCRB statistics, 31,807 (94%) of the accused's acquaintances were neighbours (10782), relatives (2315), parents (539), and other well-known individuals (18171).   

Bizarrely, it is shown that the majority of the victims (15,556) and (8,877) are between the ages of 14 and 18 and 18 to 30. According to Carolyn West (1999), "the incidence of intimate assaults in women's lives permanently alters the way women feel about themselves and their environment. While each woman's reaction to adult sexual trauma is distinct and complicated, experiences of rape and sexual assault are associated with both short- and long-term disturbing symptoms that negatively affect the psychological functioning of the survivors.As a result, campaigners claim that the judicial system takes too long to prosecute rape cases; however, officials counter that the rise in instances is due to victims being more aware of their rights and coming forward with complaints. Still, because of societal shame and police incooperation, half of the instances go unreported.

While it is obvious that victims may need a close shoulder to lean on to help them cope with the trauma, Suri (2022) claims that people often respond emotionally whenever the topic of rape is brought up. However, this is insufficient. The majority of rape victims believed they would die or suffer severe injuries. Physical trauma, skeletal muscle tension, gastrointestinal irritation, genitourinary problems, and irregular sleep patterns were all examples of somatic responses. Fear, embarrassment, rage, guilt/shame, and emotions of degrading and helplessness were among the emotional responses. There may be mood swings and increased emotional vulnerabilty. There may also be an increase in irritation and suspicion of other individuals.  As a result, there is a need to criminalise the rising number of rape cases in India. To do this, comprehensive study must be conducted to identify the underlying causes of the problem and enable educated decisions to be made.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

In recent times,, rape has becomes  a serious public health and human rights problem   in India which has  devastating  effects  on  adult  and  child victims, their families, and communities. The consequences for adult and child victims include injuries, substance misuse, eating disorders, post­traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, self­harm and suicidality which root factors neds to be investigated. Jackson (2017) has outlined “red flag” behaviors that could lead to abusive patterns such as pending or actual separation or estrangement, obsessive possessiveness or morbid jealousy, making threats to kill, alcohol and drug use, unemployment, and the presence of step-children. Stalking, forced sex, and abuse during pregnancy are also noted.

Castro, Casique, & Brindis (2018) mentioned that culturally specific issues related to rape, rape risk, and/or contributing factors include perceived appropriate sex roles, expectations of these roles within relationships, perceptions of male superiority, and women and children being treated as property. The belief that what happens in the family is under male control, as well as some marriage customs and the acceptability of violence against women as a means to resolve conflict, are also known risk/contributing factors. Similarly Ali & Gavino, (2018) mentioned that economic factors also come into play as causes of rape. Many cultures prohibit women from earning money, thereby increasing their dependence on men. Prohibiting women’s access to other financial resources, including credit, allowing for only males to have inheritance rights and to own property, and skewed allowances after partner separation from divorce or widowhood promotes abuse. Prohibiting or limiting the access of women to formal education, training and/or employment are also risk factors.

On the other hand, Ali, Israr, Ali, & Janjua, (2019) mentioned that the legal or political risk factors associated to rape in developing countries includes under-representation of women in power, politics, the media and in the legal and medical professions, coupled with the stigma of rape, and  assertions that the family is entitled to privacy and therefore should be not be monitored by the states, are all possible contributing factors to the pervasive abuse that exists. However, despite that previous studies provide support for the role of coping in the process of adjustment following sexual assault, little effort has been made to examine risk determinant of rape in India with reference to against the backdrop the study seeks to investigate factors associated with the raping of women in India

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The objective of this study is focused on an examination of factors associated with the raping of women in  Madhya Pradesh India. Other specific objectives includes:

i.          To examine the cultural factors associated with raping of women in India.

ii.        To investigate the economic factors associated with the  raping of women in India.

iii.      To ascertain , legal or political risk factors associated with the associated raping of women in India.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions

i.          What are the cultural factors associated with raping of women in West Bengal, India?

ii.        What are  the economic factors associated with the  raping of women in West Bengal, India?

iii.      What are  legal or political risk factors associated with the associated raping of women in West Bengal,  India?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: There are no significant factors associated factors associated with the associated raping of women in India.

Hi: There are no significant factors associated factors associated with the associated raping of women in India.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be significant to parents,civil societies,international bodies, law makers and judiciary. To parent it will enlighten them on the need to build a strong, healthy and open relationship with their children. To Civil Societies and NGO's it will enable them to initiates elaborate campaigns against rape and rapist. To Legislator and Judiciary it will enlighten them on the need of upgrading the existing obsolete laws so as to ensure better protection of rape victims. it will enable the international community including united nations on the need to encourage India government to fully  implement regional treaties,declarations and resolutions prohibiting all acts of violence against women. finally the study will contribute to the general body of knowledge, serving as a reference material for other researchers and giving room for further studies in related field.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study is focused on on a  an examination of factors associated with the raping of women in India. The study examined cultural, economic, legal and political factors prompting the the high incidence of rape The study is however delimited  to West Bengal,  in India.

1.8  Limitation of the Study

During the course of the research,  few minor obstacles while conducting the study, just as in every scientific endeavour. Lack of literature on   insurgency and it's effect on socio-economic development of North East Nigeria  was a key barrier. Hence, locating the pertinent resources, books, or information and the data gathering procedure took a lot of effort and organization. Since this study involves rape survivors in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala, it is limited to a particular section and state, and hence, there is a limitation in generalizing the study findings to the population. Replication of the study in different states all over India could lead to a better generalizability. No control group was included, so a comparison with age- and sex-matched individuals was not possible. Since causal association cannot be inferred from a descriptive study, longitudinal studies are required to overcome this limitation. Time restrictions were also an issue because the researcher had to complete this research while still going to classes and performing other necessary educational tasks.  However all aspects were minimized in order to deliver the best results possible and ensure the success of the research, despite the limitations that were faced during the study.

1.9 Definition of terms

Rape: Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person's consent

Sexual Molestation: Sexual molestation, also referred to as abuse, is abusive sexual behavior by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another.

Victim: victim is a person who has suffered physical or emotional harm as a result of crime, rape, accident or other event.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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