In the past few years, a drastic increase in the rape and sexual harassment cases across Pakistan has been reported. Every civilisation is facing the awful breach in the norms of its society. The question is how and why Rape culture has gathered the courage to thrive at this indecent pace? Law against rape exists but they are doing nothing to prevent it. Is there any flaw in the policy or ineptness of our LEA’s and judicial system?
If we look into the past, children used to play on the streets, at the neighbours’ house and were free to go outside and enjoy the gathering of relatives at their homes. What has reared this nasty mindset in our society – pushing once peaceful community into shambles?
World’s Rape Statistics 2020
According to the World Population Review, approximately 35% of women worldwide experienced some sort of sexual harassment in their life. Women of age between 16-19 years (teenagers) are 4 times more likely to be victims of Sexual abuse or Rape. Those between the age 18-24 years (most of them are college students) are 3 times more likely to experience sexual assault. People with some disabilities and transgender are twice as likely to be victims of such heinous crimes.
Statistics of Violence, Rape and Sexual Abuse in America
America, a superpower country and home to one of the Civilised societies across the globe, is also helpless to prevent the wildfire of domestic violence, sexual abuse and an immense number of rape cases. The stats are draconian and frightening.
Millions of Americans suffer from sexual assaults. In every 73 seconds, an American is abused sexually. On Average 433,648 are the victims of sexual abuse and rape. These victims are reported to be of age 12 years or older. If we talk about the ratio of women, we came to know that out of 6 women 1 is sexually harassed, raped or attempted to rape.
In 1 out of 10 rape cases, the victims are males. 3% of American men (1 out of 33) are the victims of sexual violence (either raped or victim of rape attempt). Transgender is also facing violence with similar severity.
Child abuse also prevails widely and every 9 minutes a child is abused or assaulted sexually. 1 out of 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys, experienced assault or abused sexually.
Rape Culture in Pakistan
Rape, sexual assault and child abuse are the unlawful and forbidden activities in Islam. These are strictly discouraged by law and culprits are subject to strict punishment, but facts and figures are telling the other story in Pakistan.
According to the report by The Nation, A woman is raped every 2 hours in Pakistan.
The rate of child abuse at the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is deplorable. According to the recent report, more boys than girls, age 6-15 years are reported as victims in 2019. Humanity above all is put to shame with the agonizing fact that children of age 0-5 years are also sexually abused in Pakistan.
In a single year, 778 Abduction cases, 405 cases of missing children, 348 Sodomy, 205 Gang sodomy cases, 279 Rape, while 210 rape attempt and 115 Gang rape cases were reported.
53% of cases were reported in Punjab, 30% in Sindh, 6% in KPK and 2% reported from Baluchistan. 7% of cases were also reported from the Capital of the country “Islamabad”.
The percentage of AJK and GB region is far less than the other regions of the country.
Most of the rape cases are went unreported because of victims fear, Shaming, family rapport and status, fear of reprisal or sometimes cases are not taken seriously by law enforcement agencies. And many remain silent to protect the Honour of their family.
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Instructions for Parents
In many cases of child abuses, the culprits turned out to be relatives, neighbours or close friends. People with psychopathic and maniacal behaviour use some tactics of threatening, or with some toys and candies to grab kid’s attention. Unfortunately, working parents suffer the most since they can’t look up their children 24/7.
Some signs which may help you to detect the incident
Sexual abuse has a profound effect on physical and mental wellbeing. It disturbs the physical appearance and may cause physical injury with a wide range of sexual and reproductive complications. Here some signs mentioned which may help you to identify the incident happened to the children.
Sudden difficulty in walking, the problem in sitting, blood scars on undergarments, scars of injury on the body, pain at hidden or private body parts, psychological stress, anti-social behaviour, protesting or crying when it’s time to go to school or any particular place, or being watchful all the time, shying from a specific person, running away from home or nightmares, pregnancy (among unmarried girls) or STD before the age of adolescent.
Factors that elevate the rape culture and violence
There are countless factors which cause and aggravate this indecent behaviour among people.
“Drugs abuse, Alcoholism, coercive sexual fantasies, attitude and beliefs, Reprisal/ Revenge, Desperate lifestyle, late marriages, early childhood environment, failure of living in relationship, Porn Industry, Internet access, Fashion industry, Non-register Madrassa system, child trafficking, Sexual advance at school or colleges (demand of sex in return of any favour), previous history of being raped or abused. Incidents of child abuse are often associated with a dark web, where culprits for some personal gains put to stake the grace of innocent lives.”
Consequences of rape, sexual assaults and child abuse
We can’t sweep the truth under the carpet; physical injuries are not always the only outcomes of rape and sexual abuse. Fatalities also occur and there are other known consequences such as effects on social wellbeing, mental health and reproductive disorders among the victims.
“Pregnancy and gynaecological problems, STD, Suicidal behaviour and attempts, Anti- social attitude, drug abuse, PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), Anger, shock, numbness, sense of vulnerability, fear, loss of control, depression, nightmares are reported by victims in aftermaths of such cases.”
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What we can do to prevent sexual violence
- We should educate our children about good touch and bad touch
- There should be a proper change in the educational curriculum
- Parents should guide their children about body transitional and hormonal changes
- Parents should visit school, college or Madrassa off and on to keep the check on all activities.
- We should promote marriage culture (propagate the beautiful message of Islam)
- We should have a better sense of fashion and discourage indecency
- Avoid alcohol and drug abuse
- The government should ban at first place all the porn and child trafficking websites
- Strict actions must be initiated against these crimes with a zero-tolerance policy
- Psychological care and support to the most vulnerable
- Life skills and other educational activities
- Strict amendment and reforms in constitution with regards to Rape, Paedophilia Sexual violence other harassments activities
- Registration of teachers at school, colleges and Madaris
- Community activism
In a nutshell, it has to be noted that rape culture, child abuse and objectification of women has become an unwanted routine in our society. We as a part of society are unknowingly flourishing this Evil around us.
Why we laugh or make sexiest jokes? Why do we think or do things which objectify or sexualize a certain gender? Why misandry or misogyny exists among the civilised society? Our slightest joke, our perception and attitude to the opposite genders are silently contributing to this heinous culture of rape. If we can’t eliminate evil, we can prevent it instead.
Guest Writer: Candlelight Guide dearly acknowledges the valuable contribution by Fawad Bashir (Doctor of Pharmacy, Final Year) in this exclusive guide. You can also share your feedback with Fawad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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