Living nightmare of sexual monstrosity
Women in villages being raped for revenge
Women being raped in robberies
Women molested and raped on roads, bazaars, buses, trains
Daughters and sister subjected to sexual assault by fathers and brothers and immediate “Mahrams”
Little children aged 1-15 boys and girls being raped and tortured to killed
Young girls and boys trapped in name of love and friendship, blackmailed and used as sex slaves for sex videos
Molesters get selected as teachers in universities, schools and madrassahs
Animals are also not safe from sex predators
This is a summary of many news of last one year and many previous years. Stories remain the same. We are living a nightmare every day in Pakistan, a country that was dreamed to be built on principles of Islam.
There are cases which are highlighted; there are more cases which are reported but not get as much media attention, and there is even a huge number of cases that are never reported. The women, children including both boys and girls are extremely unsafe. Molestation, another form of rape is highly prevalent. And the rules of society developed by ‘Manimals’ dictate the victims of molestation to stay quiet to avoid drama. Rape has become a weapon and fantasy also thanks to irresponsible Indian movies and unrestricted internet websites.
Rape is not just a crime against an individual but a crime against society. A rapist inflicts not only physical damage to its victim but also subjects the victim and their families to severe psychological and eternal torture for their lives. This heinous crime negates all the principles and dignity of humanity and societies.
Slow torture, a recurring humiliation, a feeling of insult and shame forever and never-ending pain is what awaits for the rape survivors and their families. In a society like Pakistan, there are always, more wise people around the victim to tell them that how much responsible are they for what was inflicted on them.
Why is that so? No place is safe. If we just start reading the news of rape cases reported in the last six months, one will be shocked. Schools, universities, parks, bazaars, madrassas, offices, everywhere, the vulnerable and weak are subjected to sexual assault, molestation and harassment. There are laws and laws and laws. But no execution, no implementation.
Pakistani society is sadly a rumble jumble of fake standards of honour. We are neither religious nor irreligious and the whole system is thriving in principles of hypocrisy.
Our social system is more sympathetic to the aggressor than the victim. Usually, the victim is branded as the one who deserved it and is at the fault.
“She had it coming” is just the most favourite of all quotes. Trying to hide these incidents is no surprise. Because it will not be just the victim suffering, but the whole family becomes the talk of the town. They are shamed sometimes in the guise of sympathy and sometimes ridicule. People just scandalize the whole family and the so-called honour is so much stained that sometimes the other women of the families also have to suffer the consequences. The mindset of our people and especially men is like that if a woman is vocal and points out such incidents, the first question will be: Did something happen to you too?”
Should someone wait for something to happen to take stand against cruelty?
The life of some young girl or boy is thrashed with the most imaginable torturous methods; their delicate bodies being sexually abused, torched, beaten brutally, subjected to acid and every kind of torture in the last moments of their innocent lives.
If someone survives, a whole life of shame and humiliation awaits. The scars never go away and the society never let some wounds to even heal.
Some dignified and respectable woman has stripped off all her dignity, subjected to the torture on an ominous day and is humiliated for forever and put into shame for life. Their families suffer from scandals and scolding and they find no support system to get justice.
But do we even give justice to these people? Is the punishment is enough for all this? It is not. Many people object the public flogging or hanging of these culprits. Just stop for a moment and think a little about all the sufferings inflicted on victims, about all the mental and physical torture they go through.
To be truthful, I am more in favour of not killing rapists. But brand them as rapists for the life. Confiscate their properties, flog them in public, a slow humiliating and insulting punishment is what they deserve. Make their families suffer too because it is just close to justice. Their families failed to do their responsibility to raise them properly, so they should be shamed as well.
I have been in the knowledge of the cases and incidents where the families of rapists supported their boys and pressurised families of victims through so-called “Shurfas” of society to forgive their boys.
Should there be forgiveness for such crimes?
In Pakistan, the majority has become a supporter of the criminals and opposes the people who do the right things. More sympathies and support exist for corrupt, thieves, killers and rapists than the honest and the righteous.
This is also important to note that we keep our heads buried in the sand. Many will know about molesters and sexual aggressors but they will keep their quiet. So that their relations with the family of such a person are not compromised. Such people are equally responsible for these crimes.
There is always a storm on social media and later on mainstream media after such incident happens. But there is never any outcome. The talks and messages are extremely irresponsible. People are so tactless in their reactions that they say things and share sentiments which are closer to rubbing salt in the wounds. The victim and their families are given no respite and room to heal.
We need to develop an effective system of punishment, a detailed one including not only rapists and killers but also all the sex aggressors and assaulters. This is the only way to kill the monster that has made our children and women so unsafe even in their own homes.
As a society, we need to do our role.
We all can feel to the depths of our souls the brutality and pain of such happenings. Let not talk about them. Let us talk about how to heal the victim. How to let the survivors know that they are still precious. That they are still honourable. Some lowlife cannot rob you of the honour and dignity. Let us give the survivors some hope. Why can’t be we supportive? Why can’t we send our love and support to the victim and family by saying that this is one accident that despite all the suffering does not make them an outcast?
And let us be strict and merciless to the aggressors. Mercy to the aggressor is a crime against the victim. Let us shame them and their families and people who are protecting the. Let us devise some mechanism that ensures as much pain as they inflict on the weak children and women.
Let us make them an outcast and let such families suffer who are not doing the job of raising honourable and respectful members of society.
The writer is a taboo breaker, social activist, a humanitarian and real-life influencer. She is an Agribusiness Consultant by profession.