January 27, 2009

JAN 2009
7th Jan, 2009 - Times of India

More rapes registered, but conviction rate dismal
Mumbai: While a higher number of rape cases were registered in Mumbai in 2008, and a large number of those cases were solved, the conviction rate in court continues to be a dismal 20%. The number of rapes against women registered in Greater Mumbai rose from 45 in 2007 to 68 in 2008. A whopping 61 of the 2008 cases were solved, but police sources said this was little reason for cheer. The biggest reason is that the victims don’t want to go through the trauma of a court hearing.
“While some feel guilty about being raped and prefer to isolate themselves from public view, others don’t want to face the embarassing queries of the defence counsel during the cross-questioning. For some, it’s a combination of both,’’ a Mumbai police officer said. “Also, some of the victims get married at a later stage and do not want to pursue the case.’’

The total number of rapes registered—including rapes of minors— was 212. Startlingly, rapes of minors rose from 125 in 2007 to 144 in 2008.
“Cases of rape, dowry harassment and molestation are accorded priority,’’ said an officer from the crime branch. In fact, there are counsellors working with the Mumbai police .When all options fail, they assist the victim legally and most of this is free of cost.

8th Jan, 2009 - Hindustan Times

Paedophilia case: State to crack down on unregistered homes
The state government is planning a crackdown on unregistered children’s shelters after a warden was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing children at an unauthorised hostel he had been running in Aurangabad. The arrest of Jaisingh Michael (45) for sexual offences, including rape of children at the missionary-run hostel, has sparked outrage.
Vijay Satbir Singh, secretary to the Ministry of Women and Child Development in Maharashtra, said it was the second-highest-profile case of sexual abuse being alleged at an unauthorised institution in the state. The first, he said, was the Anchorage shelters in Mumbai set up by Briton Duncan Grant (64) to rehabilitate street children in 1995.
“My officers have told me it was never registered with us,” said Singh. “The Aurangabad shelter was not registered either. Both were running for some time before they came to our notice, so there could well be other similar cases out there.” The campaign to root out unathorised shelters will start this month, using local police intelligence and help from the public, he said.
About 108 homeless, poor or orphaned children had been staying at the Aurangabad hostel. “There were four complaints of rape, one of molestation against girls and three complaints of sexual harassment of boys,” said Singh. The home has now been shut and 16 of the children handed back to their parents. The other 44 girls and 48 boys have been rehabilitated in other shelters and offered counselling, Singh added.

Thursday, 15th Jan, 2009

Times of India - Students may get sex abuse cover / NCW Prods Centre As Research Scholars & Teachers Flood It With Complaints
DNA – Lewd remarks on campus will be crime
New Delhi: Faced with sexual harassment complaints from research scholars and university teachers, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has proposed that educational institutions be recognised as ‘workplace’ and brought under the ambit of the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill.
The bill is currently with the women and child development ministry. The proposed legislation is expected to provide redressal for women plagued by sexual harassment not just in government and organised private sector companies but industries that have so far managed to stay out of the loop like hospitality industry including catering services, restaurants, professions like NGOs, health services and coaching centres, domestic helps, women working in tailoring, or beauty parlours.
The penalty, if harassment is proved, will be levied keeping in view the victim’s mental suffering and trauma, income and financial status of the woman, medical expenses incurred by the victim and loss in career opportunity because of the incident. The bill also prohibits publication or making contents of the inquiry or the aggrieved woman’s details available.

Adopted, Assaulted and Deported (Global trade in babies)
Nearly 20 years after she was adopted by an American national, 27 year old Jennifer Haynes is back in Mumbai, seeking action against the Americans for International Aid and Adoption (AIAA), the agency that had processed her adoption papers. She has said in her petition that under the guise of adoption, various voluntary agencies and social organizations are trafficking children to western countries and most end up being sexually abused at the foster homes.