The number of rapes reported in the US is 15 times more than the number of rapes reported in India. They are more socially advanced, educated and have stricter laws than us. What could be the reason for such a large number of rape cases?
The answer lies in the question itself: the number of cases reported is 15 times those in India because almost all cases are reported there. If all the rape cases in India were reported the ratio would become a reciprocal.
In India, statistics say that about 90% of rape cases go unreported. Women are made to believe that being sexually assaulted by their husband is no rape and so domestic violence and rape are almost never reported. Rapes of sex workers is not even considered in the statistics here, while it is given importance in places like the US (although most cases of rape in the sex trade go unreported due to it being illegal). Also India boasts a 26% conviction rate of rape cases in 2011, which is abysmal, and along with the apathy and long drawn out judicial process may be why a lot of cases are not registered.
The rate of rape conviction in the UK is only 6.5 percent in England and Wales, with a shocking low of 2.9% in Scotland. But still the “stigma” factor, which is disproportionately high in India, can not be discounted. It is more important for an average Indian middle class family to get the daughters married rather than getting justice. Also one reason that India has higher conviction rate is because only those family go down that path who have very good evidence against the perpetrators lest they should lose too much for nothing.
In India the stigma attached to rape is so bad that most of the victims either back away or don’t pursue the case after the initial complaints due to fear, social stigma. Society needs to realize the an attempt at molestation itself is enough to make the life of a family hell. If we can not stand for them, the least we can do is to mind our own business.
Having said that, the absolute number of rape attempts reported must not be regarded as a measure of maturity of society etc. There are simply too many factors. For instance, population of India is 4 times that of the US.
Crime statistics, for sure, are not proportionate with the strictness of laws- It has been firmly established that the strictness is subjugated by the surety of penal action.
Another factor that must be mentioned is the dress of average American women is much more provocative that the dress of the average Indian women. I should declare however that I do not advocate any sort of moral/ dress policing. Any person is free to wear anything he/she likes. Still let’s not fool ourselves and accept that it is a contributing factor, however small.