Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


You are here: Home / News / 'Silence is louder than statistics'

'Silence is louder than statistics'

Op-Ed details limitations of sexual violence research in India

Faculty Associate Sonalde Desai and Raginin Saira Malhotra, Program Director at Lok Foundation, write that India faces a dearth of reliable data about sexual violence. India's National Family Health Survey, for example, asks about sexual violence in such a way as to encourage underreporting, they note. The India Human Development Survey and IDFC Institute's survey examine women in the home or neighborhood. But there is no data at all to assess the incidence of sexual harassment or violence in the workplace.

"To the best of our knowledge, there is minimal data on workplace harassment in India. Here, silence speaks louder than statistics. The challenges associated with collecting data on sexual harassment are multiple. Not only must we find the right words to ask about these difficult experiences; we must find privacy and safety and guard against further stigmatising survivors of sexual harassment and violence. Data must be collected and interpreted with sensitivity in order to do justice to the struggles women encounter in the face of gendered and sexual violence. However, collecting and disseminating data about sexual violence is the first step towards breaking the culture of silence and finding ways of combating violence against women," they write.

See the Op-Ed in The Hindu