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Breaking the Silence: Addressing Violence against Women and Rape


There are two categories of crimes based on gender: crimes against men and crimes against women. Crimes against women are primarily motivated by their gender. These offences undermine women’s self-esteem and rights to live independently. In male-dominated societies, women are often viewed as sexual objects, leading to a disproportionate number of sexual offences.

Historically, women were subjected to offences connected to disrespecting their father’s respect and prestige before marriage, as well as disrespecting their husband’s property and prestige after marriage. Following WWII, the United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Citizenship Act of 1966, and United Nations Covenant were established.


On Abolition Discrimination against women is considered immoral, and crimes committed against women are classified accordingly.

All women are victims of crimes against women, which cannot be generalised. Because crimes are also committed against men. Examples include murder, robbery, and theft. Only crimes against women, including rape, sexual harassment, and trafficking, have a direct impact on their physical, emotional, social, economic, and family situations. and

Indirectly, it might be described as a crime against women. The state creates new laws to penalise such actions. There is no specific statute for crimes against women, however there are differences in the nature of the offence and the victims.

In Nepal, laws do not clearly specify offences against women. Scholars’ writings also lack this feature. The 4th World Women’s Conference, held in Beijing, China in 1995AD, defined violence against women. The inclusion of punishment in criminal law has led to a more comprehensive classification of offences against women. Based on that definition,

Violence against Women refers to any act of gender-based violence that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm to women, including threats, coercion, or arbitrary denial of liberty, whether in public or private life. Violence against women includes, but is not limited to:

  • Domestic violence, such as battering, sexual abuse of female children, dowry-related violence, rape, female genital mutilation, non-spousal violence, and exploitation. b. Community violence, such as rape, sexual harassment, and intimidation at work.
  • The state condones physical, sexual, and psychological assault against women in educational institutions and other settings, as well as trafficking and forced prostitution.

Classification of crimes against women


  • Dowry or dowry-related homicide
  • Physical and mental torture
  • Sexual harassment v. Women and child trafficking

  • If the aforementioned crimes are separated into individual crimes,
  • There are five types of crimes against women: rape, homicide for dowry, physical and mental torture, sexual harassment, and trafficking of women and children.

  • The above-mentioned offences can be classed as rape, trafficking of women and children, and sexual harassment.



Rape refers to having intercourse with a woman without her consent. Even if done with a minor’s consent (under 18 years), it is still considered rape under the law.

Obtaining consent through fear, intimidation, or undue persuasion is not considered free consent and constitutes rape. Rape is now a crime against both men and women, as per the Offences Act of 2003 in Britain.

According to Nepal’s Criminal Code, 2074, if a man engages in sexual intercourse with a woman without her agreement, or with a girl child under the age of eighteen, it is deemed rape and punishable by law.

Classification of Rape

The Criminal Code, 2074 categorises sexual intercourse as follows: (a) rape of a girl child under ten years old, (b) rape of a girl child between ten and fourteen years old.

    Rape is classed into two types based on the use of force: (a) forcible rape and (b) non-forceful rape.
    There are five types of rape based on the relationship between the criminal and the victim: incestuous rape, acquaintance rape, rape by unknown person, date rape, and marital rape.

    Rape against women

    Rape towards men

    Legal provisions for rape

    Definition Section 219 of the Criminal Code, 2074, states that if a man engages in sexual intercourse with a woman without her agreement or with a female child under the age of eighteen, he may face legal consequences.

      Consider committing rape on a woman or female child.

      Explanation: This Chapter excludes consent obtained through coercion, undue influence, intimidation, threat, misrepresentation, kidnapping, or taking hostage, as well as consent obtained while unsound of mind.

      Rape includes any penetration of the penis into the anus, mouth, or vagina, as well as the insertion of any object into the vagina.


      Criminal Code of 2074, Section 219 (3)

      If a girl child is under ten years old, she may face imprisonment for a period of sixteen to twenty years. If she is between ten and fourteen years old, she may face imprisonment for a period of twelve to fourteen years. If she is between fourteen and sixteen years old, she may face imprisonment for a period of twelve to fourteen years.

      • Women between the ages of sixteen and eighteen may face imprisonment for 10 to twelve years.
      • If a husband commits rape on his wife during their marriage, he may face imprisonment for up to five years.
      • Incest in the household (Criminal Code, 2074, Section 220(2)(a)(b)(c)(d)).
      • Section 221(2) of the Criminal Code, 2074, prohibits sexual contact with detainees and carries a sentence of imprisonment for up to three years.
      • Prohibition of sexual intercourse for personal protection and security.
      • Section 222 (2) of the Criminal Code of 2074 provides for a penalty of imprisonment for up to three years.
      • Prohibition of sexual relations with those in office or receiving professional services.
      • Section 223(2) of the Criminal Code of 2074 imposes a maximum sentence of four years imprisonment and a fine of 40,000 rupees.
      • The prohibition of sexual harassment.
      • Section 224(2) of the Criminal Code of 2074 provides for a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and a fine of thirty thousand rupees.
      • Prevention of child sexual abuse
      • Section 225 (3) of the Criminal Code of 2074 provides for a maximum punishment of three years in prison and a fine of thirty thousand rupees.
      • Victims of offences listed in this Chapter, except those under Sections 220 and 226, must receive reasonable compensation.

      Nature of the Case

      Rape is a heinous crime with harsh punishments. It violates women’s reproductive rights, self-esteem, pregnancy, and safety, both directly and indirectly. In Nepal, it is considered a non-bailable offence.

      Investigation and questioning.

      A female police officer should conduct investigations on female victims. In case there is no female

      The cops interrogated a female social worker in front of witnesses.

      Hearing from a closed courtroom.

      The accused, victim, and guardian can attend court hearings with permission from the authorised authority, including police, court officials, and lawyers.


      Someone who knows If a crime has been committed, is now being committed, or is about to be committed, notify the nearest police station with written or oral evidence.

      If a crime notification is not registered by authorised police personnel, file a complaint with the police department’s upper level or Chief District Officer. They can issue a notice for further investigation and punishment to the relevant police station.

      Court jurisdiction

      pertains to the court where the offence occurred.

      Locus Standi

      Anyone can submit a rape case as it is a government case.


      • Section 229 of the Criminal Code (2074). (1) There is no statute of limitations for filing a complaint about an infraction under Section 220.
      • No complaint can be filed after one year from the commission of any of the offences listed in Sections 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, and 225, as well as three months from the date of knowledge of any other offence under this Chapter.
      • If an offence is committed against someone who has been detained, taken control of, kidnapped, or taken hostage, the complaint must be filed within three months of their release.

      Important precedents

      The victim’s statement in a rape crime must be supported by other evidence and viewed with suspicion and disbelief, even if the initial weight of evidence is added to the accused. This concept may not be appropriate for a woman’s social environment.

      Viewing the victimised woman’s account with mistrust and incredulity, and predicting its reliability, creates a presumption of distrust against them.

      The victim is a lady. GON V. Harilal Rokaya Decision Date: 2058-5-4.

      • The victim’s complaint includes a clear FIR, crime details, and evidence of the accusors’ presence at the scene. Through hospital inspection, the victim’s explicit confession, and witness testimony, it was shown that the accusers committed rape. NEKAP 2046 page 145.
      • The accused must prove they had an alibi during the rape. NeKaP 2027 page 61.
      • The accused must prove they had an alibi during the rape. NeKaP 2027 page 61, IV. Despite being told there was no rape, the woman continues to follow the rapist’s instructions and shows no symptoms of hurt. So rape did not occur.
      • NEKAP 2037, p 62.

      Sharing a bed after being raped does not constitute rape, according to justice. Reshambam
      Malla V. GON, Supreme Court Decision Date: 2047-4-3.

      • There is no proof of harm, broken hymen, or force, making the claim of rape untrue. NeKap 2043, p543.
      • In criminal trials, section 25 of the Evidence Act of 2031 states that the plaintiff is solely responsible for proving the accuser’s actions. In this instance, the plaintiff was unable to prove the evidence beyond doubt.
      • It is against justice to consider rape based on uncertainty and lack of evidence. GON v. Suresh Gupta Agrawal Supreme Court decision dated 2053-7-21.
      • Examining the corpse reveals that the hymen is somewhat broken, but it is not necessary to entirely break it for rape. NeKaP 2063, p.1184

      Important things to consider.

      Report the incident to the nearest police station as soon as possible. – If a victim of a crime, refrain from taking a bath until you have given notice. If clothes are torn, keep them open and safe.

      • When providing a notice, include proof, eyewitnesses, location data, exact descriptions, and whether the criminal is a known individual.

      Investigating the crime

      • Protect the crime site and victim after gathering information and ensuring its authenticity.

      To collect pubic hair, have the crime victim stand on a clean white sheet of fabric and shake it.

      • Send it to the lab for additional analysis.
      • Refer the victim for physical assessment at a nearby health centre or hospital.
      • If the offender is detained immediately, search for evidence on their body and send them to a hospital for evaluation.
      • Hair, stains, and other substances Evidence discovered during examination of the accused’s private parts, such as nails, is sent for further research to determine if they match the victim.

      A female police officer should conduct investigations on female victims. If there are no female police officers, the police may examine a female social worker who is present.

      Prosecution and Defences

      Although rape is a historical crime, it is based on scientific data. Using the right evidence can aid in catching the accused. With no consent from the victim,

      The crime is proven. To show rape, the victim’s physical examination, doctor’s opinion, vaginal injuries, broken hymen, symptoms of vaginal abrasions, and other facts must be presented as evidence.

      To prove rape, the victim’s body may be examined for pubic hair, sperm stains, blood, nail stains, signs, and physical evidence, such as stains on hair, clothes, etc.

      Rape cannot be proven solely by sexual intercourse. It is important to assess if the victim consented to the conduct.

      Evidence, such as the murder scene, past relationship, use of power, and defence indications, plays a crucial role in proving the case.

      Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Written by

      Alpana Bhandari

      Alpana Bhandari is a founding partner and CEO of Prime Legal Consultants and Research Center. She graduated from American University Washington College of Law. She specializes in corporate/arbitration and family law.

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