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    The heinous crime that must stop


    Social deviance of an individual is generated in society because of the failure of institutions to deliver. If the law and enforcement agencies go into deep slumber, then the major crimes will rise and they shall be very heinous in  nature as we all have witnessed in the recent incident of  the Lahore-Sialkot motorway, where the mother is raped in front of her two children.

    This is not the first case of such a heinous and inhuman nature, but similarly every day we read and see in the news bulletin there is an incremental rise in the cases of rape-cum-murder. The rapist perpetrates the action irrespective of the age of the victim. This is a serious concern for the government and the individuals who are citizens of this free land.

    Hence, social deviance poses a very severe threat to the security of the society, particularly where the women and child of young age are victims of the crime. The deviant individual does not see the consequences of the illegal perpetration that he does. He is the cause of a threat to the whole system of the society and the state generally.

    According to the police records, in the first six months of 2020, as many as 1,005 incidents of women subjected to rape were reported. How many cases were unreported, no one knows.

    In 2019, according to Sahil, an NGO working for the protection of children from violence, a total of 2,846 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in the newspapers. That averages to almost eight cases a day! And these are just the ones reported in the newspapers (which are bassed on police reports). One can only imagine what the actual numbers are.

    According to Sahil’s latest report, based on data from 84 newspapers, covering incidents from all four provinces, as well as the Islamabad Capital Territory, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan, as of June 2020, some 497 child sexual abuse cases have been reported in the newspapers. A majority of these cases, almost 57 percent, were reported in Punjab. Of the rest, 32 percent were reported in Sindh, and 6 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sahil’s latest report also reveals that more than 35 child sexual abuse cases have been reported in Islamabad during this time, another 22 have been reported in Balochistan, 10 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and one in Gilgit-Baltistan.

    Sahil’s report reveals that girls are more vulnerable to child sexual abuse than boys, in the age brackets of up to 5 years and 16-18 years; however, boys were found to be more vulnerable to sexual abuse in the age brackets of 6-10 years and 11-15 years.

    Out of the total reported cases, 62 percent were from rural areas and 38 percent were reported from urban areas. Of these, 53 percent were girls and 47 percent boys. At least 173 children were gang-raped, whereas there were 227 reports of attempted sexual assault. And, if all this was not enough to rupture your heart, 38 children were killed during this time, after they had been sexually abused.

    Rape is not a mere four-letter word. Rape is a lifelong resetting of everything that is private, fiercely protected, inviolable. Rape is not a stigma on the victim, the survivor. Rape is a collective question mark on the morality of a society. Rape is not the shame of a child, a girl, a woman. Rape is the mirror to the rottenness of a system. Rape is not the izzat ka lutna of a female. Rape is the dishonour of every man who lays a harmful finger on a female.

    Rape even when it is not fatal, acts as an assassin of that indescribably personal part of the victim that no amount of therapy or love ever brings back to life. Rape is not merely an attack on the body. Rape is a violation of so many boundaries it is one of those darkest acts of humans that defy any justification. Rape is so many things there is no single way to encapsulate its soul-altering effect. Around a thousand Pakistani women are murdered in honour killings each year, in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative for bringing shame on the family.

    In July, 24-year-old Waziran was stoned to death in Jamshoro by her husband and brother, allegedly on the pretext of honour. Last month, police named a man who had shot dead his 19-year-old sister in Karachi because of her “constant interactions” with a “man in the neighbourhood”. May it be the case of Qandeel Baloch, 6r Waziran, it was a young girl who fell victim to death in the name of  honour killing.

    The report, compiled by the police, recorded statistics from January 31, 2019 to January 30, 2020. According to the report, 126 people, who were suspected of being involved in the ‘honour killings’, had been arrested. Challans of 81 cases pertaining to ‘honour killings’ were presented in courts while 32 are still being investigated.

    Hence, the compiled report by police which states the violence against women is numerical. It states that 132 women were murdered for different reasons,  1,158 cases of kidnapping of girls were registered with the police, as were 128 cases of physical torture against women over the past year. In the survey report of Human Rights Watch, almost 1000 women are murdered in Pakistan in the name of honour each year, killed on the grounds of ‘unacceptable amorous relationships, defiance of physical or cyber gendered spaces, brazenness in dressing and language or perceived immorality.

    A decrease in the cases of such nature shall only be possible when the government passes legislation that the sole performer of the heinous act shall reap the severe consequences of the crime. It is either that his body shall be hanged at a public place or he shall be surgically operated to lose manly physical ability (castration). There is zero tolerance in the perpetration of physical violence against women.  The punishment must be a model and precedent for the others.



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