(En)countering sexual violence in the Indian city

Atreyee Sen, Raminder Kaur, Emilija Zabiliute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past decade, incidents of rape, sexual discrimination, honour killing, acid attacks and sex-related murders in Indian cities have come under much media and public scrutiny, significantly impacting conceptions of gender, risk and women’s safety in urban spaces. The city itself has become a dominant trope for underscoring the anxieties, discourses and exegesis of sexual violence, as exemplified in the oft-cited designation of Delhi as the ‘rape capital of India’. This introduction to the themed section critically engages with ‘the urban’ in its attempts to understand sexual violence in India, and focuses on the multiple public (workplace, leisure, street lives) and private (domestic, intimate) arenas of urban life where sexual violence is encountered, and the resources they provide to counter it. The co-editors engage with the interdisciplinary research papers by contributing authors that show how sexual violence is ‘(en)countered’ in women’s right-wing politics, processes of cultural production, community health activism, experiences of violent relationships, and men’s growing anxieties about women’s self-determination in Indian cities. With a specific ethnographic emphasis on women’s experiences, rhetoric, representation and resistance to harassment, the themed section analyses sexual violence through the lens of urban social and spatial transformation in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Issue number1
Early online date28 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • city
  • class
  • crisis of masculinity
  • gender
  • India
  • intersectionality
  • rape
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual violence
  • urban transformations


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