Rape or Sexual Assault

What is Rape? What is Sexual Assault?
What to do if you have been Raped or Sexually Assaulted
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013
How SNEHA can Help

What is Rape? What is Sexual Assault?

The definition of 'rape' in India was broadened in 2013 to include acts like penetration of penis, or any object or any part of body to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of another person or making another person do so.

Applying the mouth or touching private parts constitutes the offence of 'sexual assault'.

Under the amended act, the age of consent in India is increased to 18 years, which means that any sexual activity, irrespective of consent with a woman below the age of 18, will constitute statutory rape.

If you have been Raped or Sexually Assaulted

  • Remember: what has happened to you is not your fault!
  • You have a choice not to report the crime, but if you want justice and the offender to be punished, you have to act fast.
  • It is important to preserve the evidence, so go to the nearest hospital for a medical check-up immediately.
    • Do not have a shower or change any of your clothes, not even your sanitary napkin. It is advised that you go directly to the hospital, without even urinating or brushing your teeth.
    • Even if you do not want to register a complaint, we advise you to get medical help as soon as possible.
  • A registered doctor at a private hospital is also bound by law to treat you and collect the evidence, so you do not need to go only to a public hospital.
  • If you prefer, you could also go to the nearest police station first to register your complaint. They will ask you to hand over all your clothes as evidence and send you for a medical examination.
  • Under the current law (see section below), "rape" is not limited to peno-vaginal penetration. It even includes any forced oral or anal sex.

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 provided amendments of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on laws related to sexual offences. This amendment includes new offences like acid attack, sexual harassment, voyeurism, stalking. The most important change that has been made is the change in the definition of ‘rape’ under the IPC, which is extended to include acts in addition to vaginal penetration. The section on rape also clarified that penetration means "penetration to any extent", and lack of physical resistance is immaterial for constituting an offence.In case of "gang rape", persons involved regardless of their gender shall be punished.

How SNEHA can Help

If you are / someone you know is a survivor of rape and a resident of Mumbai, you can get in touch with SNEHA by visiting us at various locations across the city (see the "Contact Us" page for details).

If you are not a resident of the city, you can email or call us for help.

What help we offer:

  • In a crisis situation, we
    • Provide emotional support.
    • Assist you in filing a police complaint and connect you with the hospital / doctor.
    • Connect you to immediate support services like a shelter, if required.
  • We offer you Counselling services (no charges).
    • Individual counselling.
    • Family counselling.
    • Psycho-therapeutic services (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Relaxation Therapy).
  • We have two lawyers who provide legal counselling, help you prepare your court case, and network with the Criminal Justice System for legal services relating to your case.
  • We assist you in filing First Information Reports (F.I.R.s) at the nearest police station to where the incident has taken place.
  • We connect you with specialised services like psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, shelters, homes and hostels as per your needs.
  • SNEHA ensures confidentiality of the woman survivor of violence.