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9 in 10 Indians see rape as a ‘very big problem’

Nine in 10 Indians agreed that rape is a "very big problem" in their country, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

The survey comes in the wake of a gruesome gang rape in December 2012 that shocked the nation. Law enforcement officials and experts say that, despite the passage of tighter sexual-assault laws, prosecutions remain slow and aggressors feel a sense of impunity. A rape occurs every 22 minutes in India, according to government crime records.

Also from the survey:

  • 74 percent of Indians say laws punishing the crime of rape are not tough enough.
  • 78 percent of Indians say the country's police aren't tough enough when investigating caes of rape.
  • 82 percent say rape is a growing problem in their country.

Pew notes that roughly the same percentage of men and women, and urban and rural dwellers, say rape is a big problem. The survey also didn't find any major differences of opinion on whether current laws were tough enough between supporters of the BJP and Congress Party.

India's huge parliamentary elections are going on right now. While both major parties have said women's safety and advancement are priorities, issues like the economy and corruption appear to loom larger for voters.

Terri Rupar is The Post's national digital projects editor.



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