KATHMANDU, March 16: Rape cases have continued to rise across the country despite heightened security and social awareness campaigns in recent months.
Figures maintained by Nepal Police show that 1,127 rape cases were registered across the country during the first eight months of the Fiscal Year 2018/19. If the rape cases continue at the current rate till the end of the fiscal year, this will be a 15 percent increase compared to the previous year’s figures. A total of 1,468 rape cases were registered across the country in the fiscal year 2017/18 and 1,138 were registered in the fiscal year 2016/17.
According to Nepal Police spokesman Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Uttam Raj Subedi blamed “growing social aberrations” for the rise in rape cases. “Due to growing social deviances, cases of rape, theft and alcoholism have increased.”
Subedi also attributed to the higher number of rape cases to growing practice of registering rape complaints with police. “Previously, rape victims would not come forward fearing social stigma but that is gradually changing,” he said.
A majority of the rape victims in recent years are from the age group of 11-16 years. In the eight months of the current fiscal year, 440 girls from the age group were subjected to rape.
Similarly, a majority of the rape victims have been found to have been of the education level of grade 1 to grade 6. In the current fiscal year, 703 (62 percent of the total) have been of this education range. In the fiscal year 2017/18, a total of 1,019 victims (69 percent of total victims) were from this education range.
Reproductive health experts have claimed that the girls from this education range fall prey to rape since they do not get sexual education. “Sexual and reproductive health is only taught after grade 8,” Dr Sujan Tamang said, “Since, they have no education, they fall prey to rape.”
Nepal Police told Republica that it has been running awareness campaigns at schools on personal safety.