Kerala Sees Increasing Number of Crimes against Children

The number of child rape cases has increased massively this year compared to previous years. According to official data from the police, till March, 2016, the total number of rape cases reported against children is 219. This is the number that has been recorded in just the first three months of this year.

Considering the same time period last year, this year’s numbers are on the higher side. Data shows that from 2008-2016, the least number of child rape cases was recorded in 2010 (208). In 2014, the number was 709 and in 2015, it was 711. There had been a steady increase in the number till 2010, when there was a drop. After which, again the number of cases increased.

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Kidnappings and abductions have also increased in the last few years. The highest number (160) was recorded in 2015, and the lowest (89) in 2009. Till March, 2016, 29 such cases have been reported so far.

Even though the number remains in single digits, exposure and abandonment cases for 2016 are 5. The highest number (9) was recorded in 2010. In 2014, it was 6 and 2015, it was 5.

A positive sign that can be seen is that foeticide continues to be nil for the past three years, including 2016. The awareness programmes conducted by the Health Department and health organisations have played a good role in this regard. Another positive development is that there have been zero cases of selling or buying of girls for prostitution, from 2008 to 2016.

Though there are positives on the list, the total number of crimes against children is on the greater side. The year 2015 saw the highest number of crimes against children recorded – 2,373 cases. In 2014, it was 2,286. By observing the data on the list, it looks like the numbers are only set to increase. In March, 2016, almost 681 crimes have been recorded.

Considering the high number of sexual crimes recorded against children, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act seems to be ineffective.  The Act, which came into being in 2012, other than giving aid to children, gives the police the role of protectors of children. It is up to the police to ensure proper protection to vulnerable children, including medical aid and shelter.

Malappuram continues to be most unsafe for women

The data up to March, 2016, shows that a total number of 3,219 crimes have been registered against women in Kerala. In 2014, the total number of crimes against women was recorded to be 13,880. In 2015, the number went down to 12,383, signalling a decreasing trend, like The Kochi Post has reported earlier.

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A positive aspect on the list is the decrease in number of dowry-related crimes. The year 2014 witnessed 19 dowry deaths and in 2015 it was 7. So far, 5 dowry deaths have been recorded in 2016.

The number of rape cases in 2014 was 1,283. The number of rape cases decreased in 2015 to 1,263. In 2016, 375 rape cases have been registered so far. In Malappuram, only 43 cases have been registered.

However, molestation cases recorded against women continue to be on the greater side. In 2014, 4,357 cases were registered and in 2015, 3,991 cases were registered. The first three months of this year have recorded 1,005 such cases.

In this year, up to March, district-wise data shows that Malappuram district has the highest number of crimes against women (400). The second highest is Trivandrum Rural with 281 cases. Trivandrum City has registered 135 cases. The Railways has recorded the least number of crimes against women with 24 cases. But, among districts, Thrissur City registered 76 crimes and Wayanad 98 crimes. Ernakulam City has recorded a total of 123 crimes against women and Ernakulam Rural 165.

Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department has not registered a single case this year so far.

In 2015, the highest number of crimes against women was recorded by Malappuram (1,474) and Trivandrum Rural, the second highest, recorded 1,180 cases. The lowest was recorded by Pathanamthitta (401) and Thrissur (403). Ernakulam City and Ernakulam Rural registered 519 and 631 crimes respectively.

Main photograph (representative image) by Eric Parker, via Flickr

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