Male violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. Although not every woman has experienced it, and many expect not to, fear of violence is an important factor in the lives of most women. It determines what they do, when they do it, where they do it, and with whom. Fear of violence is a cause of women's lack of participation in activities beyond the home, as well as inside it. Within the home, women and girls may be subjected to physical and sexual abuse as punishment or as culturally justified assaults. These acts shape their attitude to life, and their expectations of themselves
There are various forms of crime against women. Sometimes, it begins even before their birth, sometimes in the adulthood and other phrases of life. In the Indian society, the position of women is always perceived in relation to the man, from birth onwards and at every stage of life, she is dependent on him. This perception has given birth to various social customs and practices. One important manifestation of these customs and practices has been that of Sati. It is seen as a pinnacle of achievement for a woman. This custom of self-immolation of the widow on her husband's pyre was an age-old practice in some parts of the counter, which received deification. The popular belief ran that the goddess enters into the body of the woman who resolves to become a sati. The practice of sati has been abolished by law with the initiative of Raja Ram Mohan Roy in the early decades of nineteenth century. However, there has been a significant revival of the practice of sati in the last few decades. Indeed, Rajasthan has been the focal point for this practice in recent years.
Violence against women both inside and outside of their home has been a crucial issue in the contemporary Indian society. Women in India constitute near about half of its population and most of them are grinding under the socio-cultural and religious structures. One gender has been controlling the space of the India's social economic, political and religious fabric since time immemorial.
The condition of widows is one of the most neglected social issues in India. Because of widowhood the quality of life is lowered for many Indian women. Three percent of all Indian women are widows and on an average, mortality rate is 86 percent higher among elderly widows in comparison to married women of the same age group. Various studies indicated that (i) legal rights of widows are violated, (ii) they suffer forceful social isolation (iii) they have limited freedom to marry (iv) restrictive employment opportunities for widows, (v) most widows get little economic support from their family or from the community.
It is common to read news about violation or wrongs committed on women everyday. Our orthodox society is so much prejudiced by age-old habits and customs that a violated woman, whether she is forced or helpless, has no place in the society.
Another danger in India is that, Indian law does not differentiate between major and minor rape. In every ten-rape case, six are of minor girls. In every seven minutes a crime is committed against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry. One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but the vast majority are never reported. Although the penalty is severe, convictions are rare.