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Although women may be victims of any of the general crimes such as "murder", "robbery", "cheating", etc, only the crimes which are directed specifically against women are characterised as "crimes against women". Various new legislations have been brought and amendments have been made in existing laws with a view to handle these crimes effectively. These are broadly classified under two categories: (1) The crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC); (i) Rape (Sec. 376 IPC); (ii) Kidnapping & abduction for specified purposes (Sec. 363 - 373 IPC); (iii) Homicide for dowry, dowry deaths or their attempts (Sec. 302/304-B IPC); (iv) Torture - both mental and physical (Sec. 498-A IPC); (v) Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (Sec. 354 IPC); (vi) Insult to the modesty of women (Sec. 509 IPC); (vii) Importation of girl from foreign country (upto 21 years of age) (Sec. 366-B IPC); (2) The crimes under the special & local laws (SLL). Although all laws are not gender specific, the provisions of law affecting women significantly have been reviewed periodically and amendments carried out to keep pace with the emerging requirements. The gender specific laws for which crime statistics are recorded throughout the country are - (i) Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956; (ii) Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; (iii) Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986; (iv) Commission of Sati Prevention Act, 1987.
Although women may be victims of any of the general crimes such as "murder", "robbery", "cheating", etc, only the crimes which are directed specifically against women are characterized as "crimes against women".