Nirbhaya* was an intelligent, fearless and ambitious young woman.

The 23-year-old college student also had a strong sense of justice, never afraid to call out harassment in a society where caste often determines how you are valued.

But seven years after her brutal rape and fatal assault on a bus in New Delhi, Nirbhaya's mother can only remember her daughter in her last, dying days.

"I do not remember any of her happy moments," Nirbhaya's mother, Asha Devi, told the ABC.

How much worse it is than other parts of the world is debatable.

But ever since Nirbhaya's attack prompted such widespread public outrage, the number of reported rapes has continued to grow.

The latest data, from 2018, shows there were more than 33,000 reported rapes across the country.

And there is no doubt there are many more sexual assaults that go unreported.

*The victim's name has been changed to protect her identity. In India, rape victims cannot be identified, even if they have died.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

AP Top Stories May 11 A