There are very few instances of habitual rapists. Most rapists are one-time offenders. They rape in a momentary loss of sanity and self-control in the presence of women. They commit the crime under the sudden onset of a mad urge to rape.
It is very difficult to identify potential rapists and anticipate their crime. Despite this, prevention is the most important aspect of dealing with crimes against women.
Prevention has two aspects -
Prevention by women themselves through appropriate self-defence measures. A self-defence measure which can be fairly effective is the use of mini tear-smoke cartridges. These cartridges should be made easily available in the market for purchase by women. There is a possibility of other criminals like dacoits etc misusing these cartridges for overcoming their victims, but this is a risk which has to be faced to enble women better protect themselves.
Prevention by the police has to be through enhanced anti-rape patrols in areas susceptible to commission of rapes such as transport buses, parking lots and deserted streets at nights. Since rapists operate more at night than during day time, these patrols should be intensified at night.
Intensified anti-rape patrols would also have a salutary effect on other crime.
Image: An activist, right, collects signatures from commuters during a campaign against atrocities committed against women at the Churchgate train station in Mumbai, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP)