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1.1 Background of the Study

The damage posed by rape to society is immediate, and it is spreading like a disease. Women are adversely impacted as their physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive development may be affected. Sexual assault has been documented throughout history and is now almost universally recognized in all of its forms. It is a crime against society as a whole rather than a prohibited act against women. Conceptually, the term "rape," is often referred to as "balatkar," is ominous as it see as one of the most typical illegal actions in India. According to Maatri Devo Bhava (2020), rape destroys the victim's psychology and has an impact on their deepest emotions since it is so frightening, shameful, traumatizing, and dreadful. Cohen, L. & Roth, S. (2018), states that rape is a crime that involves sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent.

Moreover, rape in India is defined under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code “as intentional, unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent” . This definition is too narrow and has been sporadically criticized for not incorporating other forms of sexual assaults.  On the other hand, the prevalence rates of rape in intimate partner relationships appeared to be very high. Available data suggested that in some countries nearly one in four women experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner (WHO, 2008). Sideris (2020) argued that women’s definition of rape was informed by socially held beliefs, cultural values, religious practices and historical experiences. Intimate partner rape was frequently reinterpreted by the victim as stemming from overwhelming affection (Jewkes et al., 2016). The fact that women were often emotionally involved with their partners and economically depended on those who victimized them has major implications for the dynamics of abuse and approaches to dealing with it (WHO, 2008). The history of rape laws in India begins with the enactment of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) in 1860 (45 of 1860)[1 ] covered sections 375 and section 376. According to IPC 1860 does not identify rape properly and it did not count the majority of survivors. The problem is not sex but sexual assault into which the penis turns into a weapon. The rape laws under IPC had gone through several amendments. In 1983 the Section 376(2) that is Custodial Rape, Section 376 (A), that is Marital Rape, and Section 376 (B to D), that is Sexual Intercourse not amounting to rape was added.

Similar to this, women who had experienced physical violence from their relationships were more likely to experience emotional abuse as well as the reverse. Rape as a form of sexual violence between partners included forced intercourse and other forms of sexual coercion (Jewkes, Vundule, Maforah & Jordan, 2017). However, according to Anderson (2016), states that rape poses a direct threat to the society. Also, Briere, J. & Jordan, C.E. (2017) asserts that rape can leave a deep scar of the minds of children and women, and can destroy their whole personality.  The increase of rape rate in the society has very evident linkages with increased drug abuse.Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to examine the causes of rape in India.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

There have been a culture of secrecy and silence around rape: rape and defilement were associated with negative and stigmatized attributes such as promiscuity, unfaithfulness, and personal weakness (WHO, 2018). Rape has affected the health and well being of women, leading to increased levels of depression, distress, and trauma (UNFPA, 2012). Rape compromised the ability of women to cope with daily life (Kilpatrick, 2019), and women could experience anger, thoughts of revenge, and nightmares (Calhoun, 2018).

In addition, rape victims are likely to experience fear and anxiety (Briere & Jordan, 2018). Cohen and Roth (2019) reported that rape victims were generally acutely distressed during the first few months. They could also develop chronic difficulties including nightmares, low self-esteem, fear, depression, shame and other psychological disorders (Campbell, Dworkin & Cabral, 2019). However, women reacts to rape incidences differently, depending on their personality, past experience, and the support received after the incident (UNFPA, 2022). On the other hand, some  reaction was to blame themselves for the rape (Frese, Moya & Megius, 2019) and to exhibit high levels of emotional and cognitive distress, including helplessness, loneliness, sadness, and a desire for revenge, which were some of the general symptoms of depression.

Further more, victims of rape may be harmed and may have psychological issues (Buddie & Miller, 2017). In addition, the consequences of rape may also result in unwanted pregnancies, abortions, suicide cases, single parenthood and sexually transmitted diseases, all of which may be devastating. The victim is left with what appears to be a continuous struggle to adjust back into society again.

Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess the psychological effects of rape incidence on women in India.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to  assess the psychological effect of rape incidence on women in India . Specifically, the study will;

1.        Examine the prevalence of rape among women in India

2.        Identify the causes of rape incidence among women in India

3.        Analyze the impact of rape on the psychological well being of women in India.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

1.        What is the  the prevalence of rape among women in India

2.        What are the causes of rape incidence among women in India

3.        What are the impacts of rape on the psychological well being of women in India

1.5  Significant of the Study

 An assessment of psychological effect of rape incidence on women in India will be revealed to the government at various levels, women rights activists, NGOs, law enforcement agencies, women, media houses and  students in this. It will additionally enlighten women and students of the factors that contributes to rape and also NGOs in creation of awareness to both parents and children on issue of sexual offenses and rape, and also encourages community dialogue on Gender Based violence. Furthermore, this research will be useful to media house to disseminate information and educating the large population regarding sexual offense Act of 2006 and severe punishment of committing rape.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to an assessment of psychological effect of rape incidence on women in India

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an assessment of psychological effect of rape incidence on women in India. Theoretically, this study will examine the prevalence of rape among women in India, identify the causes of rape incidence among women in India and analyze the impact of rape on the psychological well being of women in India.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to women in New Delhi, India.

1.7 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Rape : unlawful sexual activity.

Rapist: a person who rapes someone.

Psychological: related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

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


  • Reference(s):


  • Methodology: available

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