Nearly 31,000 complaints of crimes committed against women were received by the National Commission for Women (NCW) last year, the highest since 2014, with over half of them from Uttar Pradesh. There was a 30 per cent rise in complaints of crimes against women in 2021 as compared to 2020 when 23,722 complaints were received.
Of the 30,864 complaints, a maximum of 11,013 were related to the right to live with dignity that takes into account the emotional abuse of women, followed by those related to domestic violence at 6,633 and dowry harassment at 4,589, according to official NCW data.
The most populous state of Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of complaints of crimes against women at 15,828, followed by Delhi at 3,336, Maharashtra at 1,504, Haryana at 1,460 and Bihar at 1,456 complaints. According to the data, the highest number of complaints related to the right to live with dignity and domestic violence were received from Uttar Pradesh.
The number of complaints received by the NCW has been highest since 2014. In 2014, a total of 33,906 complaints were received.
NCW chief Rekha Sharma had earlier said there has been a rise in the complaints because the commission has been making people more aware about its work.
“Also, the commission has always made it a point to launch new initiatives to help women. Keeping in line with this, we have launched a round-the-clock helpline number as well to provide support services to women in need where they can also register a complaint,” Sharma said.
From July to September this year, over 3,100 complaints were received every month, the last when over 3,000 complaints were received was in November, 2018 when India’s #MeToo movement was at its peak.
As many as 1,819 complaints have been received regarding the offence of outraging modesty of women or molestation, 1,675 complaints of rape and attempt to rape, 1,537 of police apathy against women and 858 complaints of cyber crimes, according to NCW data.
Akancha Srivastava, the founder of Akancha Srivastava Foundation, a non-profit organisation that works towards imparting cyber safety knowledge, said when complaints rise it is a good thing because it means more women have the courage to speak up and there are platforms in place now and they are aware of where to report.
“People are reaching out now. Earlier women might not be coming forward to lodge their complaint… they didn’t know what they are going through is harassment but now they do, and they are coming forward to report which is a good thing,” she told PTI.