Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario, situated in east central Canada. It has blessed us with the famous rapper Dizzy Drake, the so very successful NBA player Shaquille O’Neal , introduced us to the first peanut butter as early as the late 1880s. But like everything in existence, there is more than one dimension to the daily hustle and bustle of Toronto, the darker dimension of its reality.
According to a report by RAINN (Rape abuse and incest national network) , Canada comes 8th on the list of countries which encounter most sexual assault cases, where on the same list India comes on the 4th. It states that, one in three women have been sexually assaulted once in their lifetimes , quoting the Justice Institute of British Columbia, it said one out of every 17 women are sexually assaulted in Canada. 62% of these victims were physically disfigured and over 9% were horrendously beaten.
These figures are the ones that have been officially reported , however, an official estimate says that out of 100 rape cases , barely 6 are reported in Toronto. If we go further into the collected statistics, the situation perceived becomes more disturbing to our eyes. Over 17% of girls under the age of 16 experience some form of paedophile or incest, and approximately 83% of disabled women are raped in their lifetime. What’s worse is that, over 80% of the assailants are either family or friends of the victim.
Last year , keeping in mind the existing scenario, a new law was passed in Ontario. Under the campaign name of ‘It’s never okay’ , the law aimed at making workplaces, schools, colleges etc safer and encourages the victims to report the assaults as they otherwise wouldn’t have. Not just that, the law amends all the previous toronto sexual assault lawyer laws as well.
In 2014 the sexual assault cases reported in Toronto subway were 67, the numbers dropped to 56 in 2015. This however, may not be a good thing as it doesn’t necessarily means that the crime rate has dipped but that the cases that are being reported have fallen significantly. The reporting of this particular category of crime has seen the least filing or official reporting.
Going deeper into the reasons why almost 90 out of 100 cases were not reported, we discovered some unsettling yet justifiable reasons. Over 56% of these women feel powerless or too young to report such cases, while 40% are ashamed to admit and 19% of women agreed to the fact that they didn’t want to turn in a family member. On being asked how did they feel after reporting the case to the police department, barely 22% of the women said they felt positive while the other 78% were dissatisfied and felt negative. Women have often said that it was extremely hard to convince the lawyer from taking their case, above that it’s often said that the police has dissuaded the victim from pressing charges against the assailant.
Toronto’s legal system has tried to keep the ongoing crimes under control but has been so far unsuccessful in doing so completely. The numbers of such cases have dropped significantly, however, it doesn’t allow us to sigh with relief as it might just mean lesser number of cases are being reported. Toronto has a long way to go, socially or legally, before it can successfully see any decline in the ongoing assault rates.