Kollam, Kerala, India – the state of Kerala is trying to rebuild its tarnished image as a hotbed of crime in an otherwise peaceful country following a spike in the murder rate including an increase in dowry deaths. In all fairness, Kerala is the center of tourism in India with its luscious backwaters, beaches, and mountains and botanical forests. The state also has India’s highest literacy rate at nearly 94% which is excellent for a developing nation. However, the region is also known for its high rate of crime particularly in the Kollam district. In the year 2010, there were five dowry related deaths alone in the state. (Dowry related deaths are where spouses or over-zealous in-laws harass the wife in order to extort an increased dowry from her family and either kill the woman or drive her to suicide). Statistics are not easy to come by but in 2007 & 2008 there were five dowry deaths reported in the Kollam district alone. The deaths are also categorized as crimes against women along with rape and molestation. Since 2011, reports by the police department show an increase in the crimes being committed against women including dowry deaths. The National Crime Records Bureau shows that the state of Kerala is India’s has India’s highest rate of crime.