Return to frontpage

Nithya Nagarathinam

[email protected]

Nithya Nagarathinam , a former Public Policy Scholar with The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, studied the manner in which rape reporting can be improved in India. She is also a Research Associate at the Association for Democratic Reforms, New Delhi.

Policy Report No15resized
Enabling Reporting of Rape in India: An Exploratory Study

This Report is an exploratory work seeking to answer the question ‘What enables reporting of rape in India?’ Under-reporting of rape is often attributed to social norms that stigmatise female sexuality, to the point that there is a guarded silence and secrecy around it even when subjected to violence. This view on under-reporting places the blame on the victim, as if she makes a choice in not reporting rape, constrained by the influence of an abstract force of patriarchy. What I found was that social stigma becomes irrelevant the moment the incident of rape becomes public knowledge and hence cannot dis-incentivise the victim for reporting. In fact, the victim is motivated to prosecute and seek justice, if only for her own vindication.What come into play then are institutional barriers arising out of the extrapolation of social norms into the State. This Report examines these institutional factors located and operating within socio-cultural constructs of rape and female sexuality to identify enabling forces that can overcome barriers to reporting of rape. The first part of the Report analyses rape statistics in India to identify regional patterns at the State and district levels. The second part was conducted through interviews of victims, police officers, advocates, women’s organisations, activists and State officials.[PDF 1.16 MB]

Rape, Compromise, and the Problematic Idea of Consent

Why do rape victims turn hostile witnesses in court or settle for mediation with the perpetrators? Nithya Nagarathinam suggests that mediation

What enables rape reporting?

The Nirbhaya agitation of 2012 not only removed the stigma surrounding rape but also gave women the hope that their complaint would be heard.

Criminalisation of Politics

An analysis of candidate data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reform shows the degree to which criminalisation has entered Indian politics: