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Short essay on crime against women

Although, women may be victims of all kinds of crime, be it cheating, murder, robbery, etc., yet the crimes in which only women are victims and which are directed specifically against them are characterised as "crime against women". Broadly, crimes against women are classified under two categories:

(1) Crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which include seven crimes: (i) rape, (ii) kidnapping and abduction, (iii) dowry deaths, (iv) torture physical and mental (including wife battering), (v) molestation, and (vi) sexual harassment, and (vii) importation of girls.

(2) Crimes under Special and Local Laws (SLL), which include seventeen crimes, of which the important ones are: (i) immoral traffic (1956 and 1978 Act), (ii) dowry prohibition (1961 Act), (iii) committing Sati (1987 Act), and (iv) indecent representation of women (1986 Act).

It is equally important to clarify the concept of 'violence' against women. If we take 'violence' as "conduct which incurs the formal pronouncements of the moral condemnation of the community," or "deviation from conduct norms of the normative groups", the scope of cases of 'violence against women' becomes too broad.

Narrowly, the term 'violence' has been applied to "physically striking an individual and causing injury" (Kempe, 1982; Gil, 1970), to "the act of striking a person with the intent of causing harm or injury but not actually causing it" (Gelles and Strauss, 1979), to "acts where there is the high potential of causing injury" (Strauss, 1980), and to "acts which may not involve actual hitting but may involve verbal abuse or psychological stress and suffering".

Megargee (1982: 85) has defined violence as the "overtly threatened or overtly accomplished application of force which results in the injury or destruction of persons or their reputation."

While understanding the

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