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What steps should govt take to prevent women and children from abuse?

Increasing incidents of abuse in the country, what steps should the government take? (File photo)

Over the last few years, the incidence of rape in Pakistan has been increasing rapidly. Until recently, we witnessed only young girls or minors being the victims.

However, with the passage of time, these incidents are also happening with boys including women, as well as the ugly act of making videos of the victims during the sexual assault.

Latest incidents of sexual abuse

Recently, there was an incident of alleged rape of a woman in Bahauddin Zakaria Express, when the accused targeted a woman on a train and also made a video of her.

Similarly, a tragic incident took place in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab in the month of June, when the robbers gang-raped the mother in front of the children. According to the husband of the victim, 3 robbers raped his wife in front of the children and later easily escaped.

A similar incident took place in the Faqirabad area of Attock when a 10-year-old girl was raped and killed by the imam of a mosque. Accused Ikram, who is also a memorizer of the Holy Quran, was arrested by the police. There was a recent incident in Punjab when a female cricketer was gang-raped by her ex-husband along with friends who also made videos of her.

A student of Government College University in Lahore accused her teacher of sexual harassment and an inquiry committee was set up in July this year. According to the student, the teacher made a video call to her in questionable condition. 

Who is responsible for these events?

It is a bitter truth of a society that we show sympathy for the victims of sexual abuse much later. At first, we put a lot of silly questions on it. Why did you go out alone at that time of night? Why did you go out alone in the market or on the street, what kind of clothes did you wear, you should not leave the girl alone in the house with cousins, this and all other questions like this, children who have been sexually abused, applying salt instead of ointment on women’s wounds.

It may be recalled that former Prime Minister Imran Khan had also blamed women for sexual abuse. He had said that incidents of rape happen because of the way women dress.

According to Imran Khan, if women wear hijab then such incidents will not happen. Now the question arises of who will be responsible if a veiled woman becomes a victim of sexual abuse. There is no rule for men, remember that the Holy Prophet had said:

‘Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do – Surah Noor Verse 30’ 

Remember that sexual abuse has nothing to do with a woman’s dress, the rapist does not see whether the person he is raping is veiled or not, he does it when he has to do bad things with someone and does not see the place. There is no opportunity, no dress, no relationship. His aim is to extinguish the fire of lust that is born in him which he extinguishes by tarnishing one’s honour. He does not even leave the dead in the grave.

Painful fact on evidence of guilt

An important question here is that if a daughter, mother, or sister of the nation is subjected to abusive treatment by an obscene person, how will she get justice?

The sad fact is that abused women generally endure oppression without even mentioning it, while Islam teaches us that enduring oppression pushes the oppressor to the strong and the weak to the lower.

Covering one’s face in the sand does not change the reality, but the majority of eastern women, in most cases, remain silent for fear of being slandered.

What steps should the government take?

Any state has a duty to protect the basic human rights of its citizens. It is the basic right of a woman to go from one corner of the country laden with gold and silver ornaments to the other without fear and danger and no thief, looter, or adulterer can touch her.

During the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) when a woman was sexually abused, she would complain to him and seek justice for him, but no companion would advise her why she complained of crime or that she should have kept quiet but today we are busy proving ourselves to be the best Muslims by advising women to quietly endure sexual harassment in the name of Islam.

As Muslims and Pakistani citizens, our first duty is to learn to respect women and children. These mothers, sisters, and daughters are our honor and the dignity of our country.

It is the duty of the state to eradicate every crime including rape and harassment and to punish the perpetrators of such heinous acts severely so that no one would even think of doing it again.

The judiciary of the country should also be improved in this regard so that no victim hesitates before knocking on the door of the court as in most cases the victim is sexually assaulted during the trial, which is why she withdraws the case.  

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