Sexual Offenses, Cyberspace And Internet: A Critical Analysis

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This article has been authored by Mantasha Afaque Farooqui and Anam Fatima, pursuing B.A.LLB from Integral University 


Today, the internet is in reach of every hand and every generation of this world. With the imminent increase and ease of internet and mobile information, our life being indistinguishable mixed with the overwhelming online media which has propped up the emergence of crimes committed in cyberspace. This approachable technology has led to the emergence of sexual offenses over cyberspace and internet against all groups of Women’s. This has become a great block towards security, privacy, dignity of human beings as whole.

Cyber sexual crime is one of the vital crimes committed in India. The main reason behind the increasing impact of this crime is the unconsciousness of abuse. Women are the most vulnerable victims of the crimes whether it is sexual offense in reality or in virtuality over cyberspace through the internet. This research paper all about the outcomes of the study concluded on one of the most emerging topics that is the sexual offense, cyberspace and internet. The study conducted in the Cochin corporation Kerala explains that “Crimes against women is one of the peaks in all fields but the victims of cybercrimes and sexual offenses could be the most heart wrenching experience for the women.” Women’s lack the courage to complain or raise their voice against ill treatment towards them. The illustrated reason behind these offenses that are increasing day by day are lack of awareness, lack of knowledge how to run technologies and most importantly they do not raise voice against this stigma that is ruining their life. 

Therefore, this topic has become most important to be discussed and bring attention to all the people of this society. This paper seeks to introspect the gaps between cyber, sexual offenses against women and law made to protect them.

Keywords: – Cybercrime, Internet, Cyberspace, Sexual Offenses.


“We need women at all levels, including the top to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure a woman’s voice is heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”

Sherly Sandberg

From ancient times men and women have been an integral part of the social reform of the world. In Indian society she had played an important and unbroken role, even though main sab was given more priority than women. women feel insecure in their own home and are largely affected by sexual offences like rape sexual assault, harassment at workplace etc. There are ranges of time that are termed as sexual offenses nowadays these offenses have been merged with the internet and have given new names to these offenses like Voyeurism, Stalking, Morphing, Email harassment and so on. 

Cybercrime is a global phenomenon after the arrival of technologies, cybercrime and victimization of women are at the peak and have become a major threat to women’s security. India is also one of the few countries who has taken on it in 2000 to fight cybercrime but still the law is not able to protect Women at all extent. As the data suggested that there was 400% increment in cybercrime and sexual offences in 2020 with respect to 2019, and most of the cases were of sexual abuse. The law enumerated some of the sexual offences such as sexual assault, rape, stalking, Voyeurism, posting obscene content on the network and exploiting or influencing data by help of internet is as sexual offences over cyberspace. (Tushir.P. Ajay,2020)

However, laws that are made to solve these offenses are not able to tackle these offenses completely. Safety web has helped the parents and Women’s in improving their safety on the internet. Technical measures are in force to secure its system as well as legal measures to fend off and demoralize the criminal behaviors. Cyberspace is a new platform which is controlled by the technical information and where criminal activities are taking place by using computer networks as the origin, instrument or destination. Cybercrime against women is basically a new concept in India that has merged with the sexual offenses or we can say that pave ways to the sexual offenses. In the present scenario Women are facing problematic situations in their day-to-day life. There are a variety of physiological, sociological, economic reforms of victimization of women. In our society we always see that Women are frugally discriminated against in the workplace.

The Broad classification of crimes against women in India are offences of gain, sexual offences, rape, molestation and harassment at home, leading to suicide, immortal trafficking, cybercrimes, murder of young brides, exploitation of women mental cruelties, physical torture and so on .(Jayakumar. Dr. P-, Babu, Dr. Jobi ,2020) In this modern era, women are ill-treated and exploited by different technologies and one of the most significant modes of abuse is Cyberspace. This study aims towards highlighting sexual offenses in terms of cybercrime over cyberspace and internet Against women in India. Women’s protection has always been an issue of concern, particularly in India, where numbers of worm crimes against women are increasing like coconut trees.

 These crimes are limited to places outside homes or roads but now houses which were earlier known as safe places have become no longer a safe place for women; they have also been subjected to crimes. In simple terms cybercrime and sexual offenses are illegal activity prohibited by law that are taking place over lies to the actions such as internet related offenses, web-based offenses, cybercrime, internet-based sexual offenses, internet-related criminal corruption, Internet trafficking, victims of internet, identity theft on internet people, property and government. (Hussain, Jabbar-Fatima Huma ,2020)

Common Types Of Sexual Offenses Over Cyberspace

Every coin has two sides as we all are well known about the goodness and evil end of internet but nothing comes with benefit there is always some pros and cons of every good thing, it’s up to us that in what manner we welcome those privileges, we always have seen positive impact of internet let look towards some of the common types of sexual offenses that are taking place by use of this extraordinary gadget internet, what actually the focus of this research paper is. (Dikshit, C, R,2011)

Some of the common sexual offense is over cyberspace are:

  • Cyberstalking

In simple terms, cyber means anything relating to internet communication networks whereas stalking refers to chasing or approaching secretly. Therefore, we can say that cyberstalking is using the internet to stalk someone online. There is not a taller well-defined definition of cyberstalking but the term stalking is given under the section 354D of IPC 1860, which means any man who follows a woman and contact or tries to contact for interaction continuously with this regard of such women or watches the woman with the use of internet, email or any other electronic communication shall be the under the offense of stopping and is punishable under the Indian penal code.

  • Cyber Pornography

It is one of the most dangerous warnings for internet users which is defined as phonographic material, published, designed or distributed using the media of cyberspace and internet. Today approximately 50% of websites contain internet photography, which is very harmful for the security and integrity of Women’s. As they use pictures of women and convert them into nude photos or videos and you will not be able to distinguish it. (Akdeniz, Y,2001)

  • Morphing

Another dangerous type of cybercrime is misusing the photos of women to promote sex chat and phonographic materials. It is one of the most evolved types of cyber crimes relating to sexual offenses. According to the National commission of women there are about hundreds of cases registered against morphing in recent years.

  • Cyber Bullying 

This is one of the most talked about and carried out cybercrimes in this modern era. Which involves sending, sharing or posting harmful false and mean content of someone else. It also includes passing on private or personal information about anyone and causing awkwardness or shame to that person.

Some of the common places where cyber-bullying took places are: 

  • Social media such as Instagram, Tik -Tok, Facebook and Snapchat
  • Messaging apps and text messaging on tablet or mobile devices
  • Chat rooms, message boards, online forums etc.
  • Emails (Sakura Archana; Pawar.Mayura. U,2019)

Present Status Of Cyber Crimes In India 

According to the current report of national crime record bureau (NCRB) there were a total 21798 cyber crimes were recorded out of 50,07,044, cognizable offenses in 2019, In 2020 ,India recorded 50,035 cases of cybercrime, with 11.8% increase in such crimes ,over the last year and according to police record, 6,423 cases of cybercrime s were reported last year and only 787(12%)has been solved  and 85% of cases still remained under investigation as of now. There we can say that the present status of such crimes do not have much advancement hence the government and we’ll. Every  individual of the society should take steps to protect women from such hideous crimes.(Chaudhry-Divyanshi -Singh,2020)

Cyber Laws

The IT act that is information technology act that was passed in the year 2000 is the only law that provides legal identification to cyberspace and their liability issues the word cyberspace is itself a new concept which carries new risk therefore this law does not fully resolve the serious threat to women security and safety one of the best let in term related with the criminal offense is “ Actus Reus and Mens Reus , that is illegal or wrongful act with malice intention must be there to confirm criminal liability, wrongful mind alone cannot be considered as crime unless it is mixed or accompanied with the wrongful act. ‘Non facit reum nisi, mens sit rea’, means that if an act is done in a blameworthy manner only then it is called a crime.

For the very first-time information and technology act 2000 brings cybercrime punishment providing a course of action within a legal frame. It is well said that people are brittle so the law is important to protect them and also there must be valid laws for protecting computers from being used for commission of crimes. (Jayakumar.Dr. P; Babu Dr jobi ,2020)

Table 1. Different Kind Of Cyber Crimes

Crime Against SocietyCrime Against NationCrime Against IndividualCrime Against Economy

Child pornography
Cyber pornography
Racial & other hate speech on blogs and other social networking site 

Damaging critical infrastructure
Cyber terrorism 

Identity theft 
Cyber Obscenity
SMS Spoofing 

Theft of telecommunication services.
Computer fraud
Computer forgery & counterfeiting
Intellectual property
Rights infringement   

TABLE 2. Sexual Crime Covered Under The Information Technology Act (IT),2000

To pass an obscene material in electronic formSection 67
Violation of privacySection 66-E
Sending offensive messages Section 66 –A
Cheating by personationSection 66-D
PornographySection 67-A&67-B

TABLE 3. Sexual Crimes Covered In The Indian Penal Code (Ipc)

Sending defamatory messages by e mail or SMSSection 499
Obscene act in a public areaSection 294
Scandalizing by word or expression of woman’s modestySection 509
Sending a threatening message by e mail or SMSSection 506
Scandalizing by an assault on a woman’s modestySection 354

TABLE 4. Sexual Crime And Their Punishment Under Cyber Law

  SectionOffensesPunishmentFineCourt of Trial
SECTION -67Publishing or electronically transmitting obscene materialWith imprisonment of a term which may extend to 5 yearsWhich potentially extend to ten lakh rupeesMagistrate of first class
Section -72Breach of Confidentiality and PrivacyImprisonment for the term of two yearsUpton one lakh rupeesMagistrate
Section -66-EViolation of PrivacyImprisonment of 3 yearsUpton one Lakh rupeesMagistrate of First class
Section-67-aPublishing or transmitting material containing sexually explicit acts etc.Imprisonment of either for term which may extend upto5 yearsPotentially extend to ten lakh rupeesMagistrate of first class
Section-67-bTo publish or transmit materials related to children in a pornographic mannerImprisonment of either description for term which extends to 10 yearsUpton 10 lakh rupeesMagistrate

Awareness Level Of Women About Cyber Sexual Offenses

Legal awareness is also known as public legal education which means empowerment of everyone related to issues covering cyber law. Legal awareness needs to encourage alertness of legal culture, rule of law and participation in the formation of laws. Judiciary plays a very important role in tackling cyber sexual offenses, But  after the study researchers found that 78.8% respondents are familiar with the law but not aware about the services and aids that law provides to them.

The Report further says that only 1.3% of respondent knew that sharing of password is also an offence.54.6% of respondent never trusted that that IT Act can do anything to combat with the increasing crimes .The study shows the details of the respondent  awareness and knowledge about penalties and punishment about obscene representation of women is lacking. They are unaware that there is punishment in law for such type of offences, only 70% of women and aware about cyber sexual abuse. The college Students were more vulnerable to cybercrime offenses due to lack of awareness about the act.

Experts can help in providing decisive therapy, motivation to women and legal awareness, who use cyberspace. The professional social workers can understand the point of view of women about cyber, motivation classes, awareness programmers, assertive therapy and legal support services can be prepared by social workers to the female users. Helpline should be initiated in every district with the help of pink police to tackle cybercrime and maltreatment against women. Social workers should be connected to the colleges with the cyber cells to protect female students that are unaware about the laws and IT services. workers must possess the required practice knowledge to equip the women for their betterment and protect them from such offenses. (Thakkar ,2010),


In conclusion, we can say that it is not easy to get rid of the cyber crimes especially in this Modern Era where 90% of the world is dependent directly or indirectly on the Internet. However, it is always possible to battle with this type of, to attain this the first and foremost important ingredient required is awareness among the public and specially among women’s and children’s about these types of crimes and its machinery. Crimes against women are on peak in all fields but being the victim of this crime is heart wrenching for the women especially in India, where the society gives very less preference to the women and even law does not properly admit cyber crimes. 

Cybercrimes speed  through the internet by computer devices. Housewives, teenagers, children and working women are being tricked by the evil element of social media through these mobile phones. India has a wide history of respecting motherhood, so as a sincere problem cyber related sexual offenses against women need to be contented. There  are many issues with cyberspace as there are a number of cyber users who are unaware  of cyber law due to the lack of awareness of the law and its services. People used to ignore the problems. Women users should be equipped and uplifted to be strong toward complaining such. 

Confident training and awareness programs can equip the women to save and face such types of issues. They must always take precautionary measures to safeguard themselves from such types of cybercrimes and are always keen-eyed of their activities as well as other activities over cyberspace and the internet.


Some measures that should be taken to prevent such crimes are one should not share personal information on social media, should be very careful while interacting with the people on the cyberworld if any crimes took place accidentally, without wasting too much time actions must be taken towards it. It is a very well said fact that “Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied”. Therefore, systematic legislation should be enacted so that wrongdoers must be punished for their action and victims do not suffer more on account of the same.

Some other suggestions are listed below:

  • There must be some mechanism used for cybercrime and security planning further for security purposes.
  • Strict rules and laws should be formulated and applied on internet service provider
  • Lawmakers should make grave rules and regulations for cybercafes where the owner must keep records of all users.
  • Police should be made more equipped and instructed well towards these t technologies so that they can easily tract criminals.
  • Sufferers of cybercrimes should contact their cell or NGO as soon as possible for fast-track help.


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