With sexual offenders registry now maintained in our country, will the number of sexual crimes see a significant drop? According to The Indian Express, India has become the ninth nation in the world to set up and maintain a National Registry of Sexual Offenders. But unlike in the US, where this data is accessible to the public, in our country, only the law enforcement agencies will have access to it. According to the sources, this database could be used for various purposes like crime investigation and employee verification.

This means that our law enforcement agencies will have a better track of sexual offenders, having access to their names, photographs, residential address, fingerprints, DNA samples, and PAN and Aadhaar numbers. But as citizens, parents and womankind, how much does this registry assure of a sexually safe future? Is it a sign of changing times, where accountability for sexual crimes will last longer than a mere prison sentence? Also, will it cause any change in the attitude of the predators?

The registry will do little to change the rape culture

As a parent, it gives me much assurance that now schools, security firms, etc., will be able to verify their staff from this database and easily syphon out sexual predators from their system.

But for that to happen, employers need to compulsorily cross-reference all their employees to this database. There is simply no use of it, if they show leniency or neglect. It wouldn’t be much of use if we don’t use it correctly. But what about sexual offenders we choose not to report about?

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • India has become the ninth country in the world to roll out a National Registry of Sexual Offenders.
  • This database could be used for various purposes like crime investigation and employee verification.
  • The problem is that we are still doing nothing to stop men and boys from turning into predators.
  • This move will only help us keep a tab on predators and their activity. But it is not as if it will put an end to the rape epidemic in India.

In our society, numerous sexual crimes go unreported. Often the perpetrators roam our homes and streets in the guise of family members, friends and acquaintances. When their offences come to light, people brush them under the rug, just to maintain harmony in a household or friend circle. What people do not realise is that such a move endangers the sexual safety of others in or outside our vicinity. Earlier, most of us felt reporting such incidents to police was almost useless, but now we have a chance to keep a close watch on such depraved members of our society.

Now, as a society, it is our duty more than ever to make sure any sex offender, especially habitual, has his name registered in this database.

This is necessary because, the fear of being in a list and being under watchful eyes may deter offenders from committing further crimes. They know when a crime comes to light, the authorities will be right on their back, and it would be very hard for them to go incognito. However, this registry is simply a protective measure, to monitor sexual offenders. It wouldn’t do much to change the rape mentality so deep-seated in our society.

No number of registries and data compilation can help unless our approach to gender and misogyny changes. We are letting our boys evolve into predators and then keeping a tab on their activities via the National Registry of Sexual Offenders. The problem is that we are still doing nothing to stop them from turning into predators.

The registration of sexual offenders is a great and necessary move. But this doesn’t mean we are done and dusted with the problem. It will only give us a more accurate data and monitoring of sex offenders. But to prevent people from turning into monsters, that is another ball game.

Also Read: Blame Unemployment For Rape, But Not Our Misogynist Mindset

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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