Rape Culture: Epithet and Anathematization are not Enough

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Naseebullah Khan
It is irreparable, unforgivable and unforgettable Crime. Rape leaves lifelong scar on the victim, her children and her family. In a patriarchal society like ours, the victim’s life is decimated. The recent incident of Lahore Motorway indicates how living conditions for women are pathetic in our society and how shameless is the response of the government. Pakistan is among the ten most dangerous countries for women in terms of sexual harassment. Time and again the rape incidents have been taking place by the predators. From Mukhtara Mai to the latest happening of the Lahore Motorway, thousands incidents of rape transpire annually and fewer cases are registered or come to known by Media. Unfortunately, only in 4 per cent of the registered cases, the beasts are sentenced. The recent episode has exposed the bad governance of the government. When asked IG Motorway Police Kalim Imam, he responded that the 90 KMs section, where the incident happened, was not under the jurisdiction of Motorway Police. The question is, Why the security of this Motorway, which was opened for general public six months ago, was not handed over to Motorway Police? The victim blaming statement of a typical police evil mindset of Punjab police further sprinkled Salt on the wounds of the victim. How can Justice be done in the presence of such mindset and a Police officer who fails to discharge his duty and blames the victim by his evil statement. Such a controversial statement is a black spot on the face of the department and exposes the incompetency of the present Police system. How louche our patriarchal societal decay is, where the word Izat Lotna is usually used for the raped victim. In our patriarchal society, this word accentuates the raped woman victim, not the beast rapist. And, as a chauvinistic society, our energies are used on protecting the shame of the victim’s family not the victim herself. These reactions deny article 14 of the constitution about the dignity of human being, where a woman is transformed into a cattle and a subject of family shame. Such kind of responses accelerate the incidents and the sufferers (the raped woman) are further left on the mercy of fate. Their future of the Victims becomes miserable. Deterrence is the only viable proved remedy of preventing crime. Whatever, punishment for a crime is, strict abiding by Law is vital. Unfortunately, our criminal justice system has faultlines. Innumerous rape cases are not registered. The most pertinent reason is lack of people’s confidence in the criminal justice system. A robust ambience on the part of government is a must so that women feel no hesitation in registering the cases. For that, we have only one option left, that is to emplace the criminal justice system with the help of all components ( Police, Investigation, Prosecution, Courts and Prisons). Let us transform our anger into action. Let all institutions perform their respective responsibilities enthusiastically. Let us all introspect ourselves as human being. And, let us convert the patriarchal society into an egalitarian society where every sex feels equitable, protected, and empowered.

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