Only 10 per cent of the 2.55 crore cases pending in the subordinate and district courts across the country have been filed by women. Out of the 90 per cent of the cases filed by men, 70 per cent were criminal cases. Of the cases filed by women only 50 per cent were criminal cases, though it is women who are subject to domestic violence and harassment.

States in which women filed more cases were Andhra Pradesh (16%), followed by Bihar and Punjab (15% each). In Goa, Tamil Nadu and Chandigarh, 14 per cent cases were filed by women.

Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan had fewer cases filed by women. Gujarat, which has one of the highest per capita incomes, saw only 3.8 per cent of its lower court cases being filed by women. Women filed just 65,000 of the 17.26 lakh cases in the state.

Delhi, which has a high incidence of violence against women, saw only 5 per cent of its cases being filed by women

Only six states had a higher percentage of women litigants than the national average.

Why don’t women file cases?

Women hesitate to report because they fear that they will be blamed. Social stigma makes them hesitate to report sexual harassment. They could be thrown out of their own homes or have their family names maligned. They may fail to report harassment at the workplace because they are afraid they may lose their jobs.

According to a research conducted by the Indian Bar Association, 70 per cent women in India do not report sexual assaults at workplaces. Women aren’t well-versed with the laws that can safeguard them from such crimes. There need to be more programs which teach women about the law, and encourage them to report cases of violence. Many women don’t even know that street harassment is a crime and can be reported.

“We very often notice that most of the women hesitate to go for reporting cases as there are lots of negligence around. Will they provide us help, will they keep our identities secret or will they ask us to give them documentaries as evidence? A lot of negation and mental blockage exists,” Trisha Shetty of SheSays tells SheThePeople.TV.

Also Read: Why Women Don’t Report Cases Of Sexual Assault At Workplace

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