Man can’t be raped” An abuse

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Shamsuddin Azad

Despite a widespread assumption that men can’t be sexually assaulted or abused, news reports and collected data suggest otherwise. The number of reported cases of male rape is considerably less than cases of female rape, but owing to how we view masculinity in Pakistan, males are not expected to share their problems. With sexual abuse sometimes seen as a matter of male honor, the survivors are deprived of the process of sharing and unburdening. In October 2019, renowned filmmaker, Jamshed Mehmood or Jami, bravely came forward with his ordeal of being raped after 13 years of silence, which was a door for such conversations to open up for the first time in Pakistan. As per the Pakistan Penal Code: 1. a man can not be recognized as a victim of “rape”; 2. sexual intercourse with a man, adult, minor or even disabled, against his will or without his consent, is categorized as an “unnatural offence”, regardless of the gender of the transgressor; 3. cases where both transgressor and victim are female also fall within the category of “unnatural offences” as opposed to “rape”, regardless of whether the victim is adult, minor or disabled; and 4. the punishment for an “unnatural offence” is less severe than that provided for “rape”. Sexual assault and abuse also extends to male minors. According to published reports by SahilNGO, as of 2019, on average 8 children are abused in Pakistan every day, while more boys are victimised as compared to girls. “Male street children are often the ‘preferred’ target of men due to their physical advantages. Boys will not get pregnant, they are mobile — meaning they can take them with them anywhere without making people suspicious — and they will never have to take responsibility of them financially as they would need to for girls.”, Pakistani blogger Zainab Nisar writes in her blog. These findings indicate how important it is to shed light on the issue of male abuse and assault as much as it is done for females, to end the the gender disparity in our laws and to provide the victims with specialized rehabilitation and treatment facilities.

 

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