In July, the National Commission for Women received a record number of complaints of crimes committed against women, with the total tally reaching 2914.
This marks not only a spike from the previous month – in June, the total number of complaints were at 2043, as per reports – but also the highest since November 2018, a period when the #MeToo movement was sweeping India.
The global movement of MeToo, which is now recognized as a monumental move, had taken flight initially in the dark underbelly of Hollywood. Soon, with women across the world encouraged to come forward with their accounts of sexual harassment and assault, the wave made its way to the Indian social media, bringing to light several stories of atrocities committed against women.
Especially towards the end of 2019, this wave of accountability and transparency would emerge as one of the biggest talking points for Indian media. During that time, many prominent personalities found themselves under the scanner as allegations of sexual misconduct mounted up in the public.
Between then and now, unfortunately, the narrative has not changed drastically. The complaints are once again registering a surge. Although this time, the NCW is of the opinion that the spike could be related to the commission’s increased online activity.
"The complaints have increased because we are very active on social media now and we are registering cases from Twitter and other social media platforms too. We have a WhatsApp number for reporting cases which was not in place earlier," NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma was quoted as saying, on media.
Encouraging this trend of accountability, she added, “The NCW is working for the well-being of women so they can reach us any time, any day."
The various complaints registered by the NCW are categorised under different heads. As it turns out, 774 complaints were received under the Right to live with dignity clause, followed by domestic violence complaints at 660, and complaints of harassment of married women and dowry harassment at 493.
Besides these, 146 complaints were registered under police apathy towards women and another 110 complaints were received under cyber-crime.
(Edited by Athira Nair)