New Delhi: Police may say they are doing whatever they can to ensure safety of women in the capital but a study on rape cases claims that the fairer sex is not safe here even during daytime.

The study, conducted by the Centre for Social Research (CSR), is based on 58 FIRs lodged by rape victims in Delhi between January 2009 and July 2011 and medical legal reports of doctors.

According to the study, as many as seven rapes took place between 6 AM to noon, 17 cases between noon and 6 PM and 14 victims were raped between 6 PM and midnight.

"Recently, the Delhi Police Commissioner was quoted by media asking women not to venture out alone at night. But our study clearly shows that a woman is not safe even during the day," claimed legal consultant Soumya Bhowmick who helped prepare the report.

The study also claims that 18 women were battered in some form or the other every hour across the country with 13 cases of statutory rape (below 10 years) and 18 cases of school or college level girls being raped. The age group of the accused varied from below 18 years to above 50 years of age.

"Despite police claiming tough enforcement and action against the accused, figures show an alarming rise in the number of victims as it was observed that 85 people were accused in 58 cases of rape," said Bhowmick.

A senior Delhi Police official said they were taking adequate measures for ensuring safety of women. "The rape cases are coming down in the capital. There was an 11 per cent decline in rape cases in the capital this year," he said.

In most of the cases, it was found that the offender was a close acquaintance of the victim. In 22 cases, the accused were neighbors of the sufferer, in five incidents they were relatives, and in 10 others the offenders were friends of the victims. An analysis revealed that nine incidents took place in the victim's house, three in a vehicle and 25 other cases in other places.

The victims in many cases do not lodge a complaint out of fear of being stigmatized and of reprisal from the attacker.

Out of the 58 cases, only 27 victims lodged the complaint on the same day, 18 victims lodged the complaint after one day of the rape, and 12 cases came up after more than a day of delay, the study noted.

"We also conducted a study on the status of rape cases at the post FIR stage and we discovered that many families had withdrawn the case due to delayed trials," said Ranjana Kumari, CSR's Director.

Accusing police of being lax during daytime, Ranjana said that there was an urgent need to equip the city with comprehensive security measures for women.
"Besides, forming community watch groups, spreading awareness among families and in schools and fast tracking the judicial system to deal with rape cases could help ensure women's safety," Ranjana added.