Recent reports of criminal offence against women spark fear among women

Going by statistics from the police, the number of reported cases of a criminal offence against women in the country is decreasing. The reported cases dropped by nearly 300 between 2022 and 2023. However, this does not imply that women feel safer now. Amid recent reports of women being murdered, raped, and facing physical assaults, women are indeed more worried about their safety.

A 24-year-old woman in Thimphu who did not want to be named said that the recent news of heinous crimes against women has left her no longer feeling safe even to go out during the daytime.

She added that she became more fearful following the recent news that a woman in her 20s was brutally murdered in the Changangkha area.

“Recently, as I was returning home after hanging out with my friends, I had an unknown man following me to the doorstep of my house. If it had not been for my neighbour’s dog barking at the man, I cannot imagine what might have happened to me that night.”

Similarly, BBS talked to a few other female residents of Thimphu who said that they do not feel safe even in their own homes.

“I feel that witnessing the series of crimes committed against women these days, both outside where assaults occur, makes us feel very unsafe to go out. We even have to question our safety within the walls of our own homes,” said Karma Yuden, a resident of Thimphu.

“I find myself deeply affected by a pervasive sense of insecurity. I used to go outside to study and do my assignments or schoolwork, but with the prevalence of such crimes, I am now hesitant to even go out. This shift has significantly affected me both mentally and emotionally,” said Thinley Choden, a student studying in Thimphu.

Records with the RBP show that Thimphu recorded the highest number of crimes against women over the last two years.

In 2022, close to 300 (289) cases were registered with the police. 2023 saw 174 cases of criminal offence against women.

Meanwhile, at the national level, 1694 cases of criminal offence against women have been registered with the police since 2022 to date. Of it, around 900 cases were reported in 2022 and more than 600 last year.

This year, 160 cases have been registered with the police so far.

Although data show a decrease in crimes committed against women, police say there could be more as many cases go unreported.

In addition, police records also show that crimes committed against girl children are twice as more compared to crimes committed against boy children. Last year saw 110 cases of criminal offence against girl children compared to 53 against boy children.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women and Children says the office is advocating for women and children not to shy away from reporting cases or crimes to the relevant stakeholders.

Tashi Dekar

Edited by Phub Gyem

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