By Barrister Needa Chaudhry
MAY 31, 2019
In contemporary years; “Rape” is the fourth mass plebeian and prevailing crime against women. By solitary visceral the pertinent definition of rape is unlawful coition carried out forcibly or without consent under resistance by the well capacity of the victim. The resistance may cause any harm to the victim. Rape is used to vindicate the powerless in society. The Radical Feminist Anderea Dowkin once mentioned that, by the time we are women, fear is as familiar to us as air; it is our element. We live in it, we inhale it, we exhale it, and most of the time we do not even notice it. Instead of “I am afraid,” we say, “I don’t want to,” or “I don’t know how,” or “I can’t.
However, enormous number of rape incidents is not reported. The reason for various rape occurrences goes unreported because the victim fears vengeance, hostility and humiliation in society. Therefore, certain rape incidents, upsurge various protests in country and International media attention espouse the culture to report rape has increased. Women in Pakistan are in urgent need of protection which they deserved and only indignation is not sufficient. Pakistan is a Majority Muslim state and when considering grievous rape issues she fell under world`s worst ten countries. According to classic Islamic law (Shari’a) regarded the offence of sexual violation as a coercive Zina and therefore a Hadd offence applies. The punishments under Hudud ordinance ranges from public lashing to publicly stone to death, Under Hudud ordinance punishment must be carried out in public and neither state nor the victim can pardoned. Unfortunately, somehow it is observed that these punishments are very rarely in practice. In 2013 Majority Muslim countries made Hudud applicable. In 1979 Pakistan instituted the Hudud Ordinances. In 1980 the Islamic Republic of Iran stoned to death four offenders in Kerman. By the late 1980s, Mauritania, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates had enacted laws to grant courts the power to hand down Hadd penalties. During the 1990s Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and northern Nigeria followed suit. Islam has a clear stance which states that this repugnant action is “Haram” and imposes a deterrent punishment on the one who commits. Islam undeniably closes the door to the criminal who wants to commit this deleterious and truculent crime. The laws of Islam came to protect women’s honour, modesty and demureness.
Michele Decker, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins once expressed that “Rape doesn’t just involve someone with a gun to a woman’s head; People tend to think of rape as something someone else would do.
Islam undeniably closes the door to the criminal who wants to commit this deleterious and truculent crime. The laws of Islam came to protect women’s honour, modesty and demureness
In 2002, 30-year-old Mukhtaran Bibi was gang raped on the order of “Panchayat”. Yet, not to forget that Pakistan is Islamic state and how “Panchayat system” and orders are influential. Imagine the society where “Panchayat” is ordering to rape a weak woman? The high illiteracy rate and orthodox system led to violations of religious and social rights. In 2005, a woman was gang raped by the police on the refusal of paying bribe so that her husband would be released from prison. In 2012, five women aged between fifteen and twenty one were raped by the border police in Dera Ghazi Khan. Moreover, in 2019; 21 year old girl is raped by three police officers in Rawalpindi. Whereas, across the globe police are responsible for maintaining public order and safety, enforcing the law, and preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal activities, eminently considered as a protector of the citizens. So when the protectors of the citizens are indulged in criminality than from whom one should go for help in an emergency or ask for justice? The sluggish Police attitude and police station system discourage and discomfort the victim from bringing their matter to the courts. For the very first time in the history of Pakistan massive Kasur incident of raping young children dramatically shook the country, where almost 280_300 young children were raped, filmed and blackmailed. We are living in a society where even our children are not safe. Like United Kingdom, Pakistan better adopt the same policy to register the names of paedophiles and rapists on child sex offender register to protect the society. There should be police background checks and effective scrutiny
In January 2018, a seven-year-old girl named Zainab Ansari was raped and strangled to death in Kasur. Soon afterwards, culprit was hang to death. A great precedent was set. Currently, in 2019 young 10 year old girl called “Farishta” was raped and strangled to death. Child sexual abuse is becoming universal and prevalent in Pakistan. Recent statistics compiled by the Punjab commission on the status of women are terrifying. According to them from 2014_2017 10,000 rape cases were reported in Punjab, whereas the data collected by “The News”, it states that 2,699 were raped in 2014, 2,509 in 2015, 2,938 in 2016 and 1,365 in 2107.
In order to eliminate rape culture, it is indispensable to establish an environment in which survival feel impregnable speaking up and calling out their attackers. On larger scale legislators must create newfangled laws that enfranchise survivors, not rapists. Spread the awareness of “don`t be by standard”. If you witness sexual assault or something that doesn’t feel appropriate don’t stand by. As a society, we should develop the courage of resisting “slut shaming and victim blaming game. In order to fight rape culture we should challenge conventional definition of masculinity. Likewise, media that dehumanises women by treating them as sex objects contribute to rape culture. We should criticize them publicly. Educate your children about good touch, bad touch, respecting opposite gender. Pakistan Government better adopt these measures like UK to help the victims, for instance, in United Kingdom sexual assault referral centres offer medical, practical and emotional support. They have specially trained doctors, nurses and leave on victim to decide to report the assault to the police, if the victim prefer not to report the assault to police he/she can still get the medical treatment to prevent some STI`s and unwanted pregnancy. With sadness in Pakistan when victims go to the police station to file the complaint our police officers harass them and demand for medical report. In contrast, rapes Victims have these support centres in UK to get help and justice.
A doctor or practice nurse at your GP surgery, the survivors trust or Survivors UK, free 24 hour National help domestic helpline, rape crisis national helpline. Hospital accident and emergency department, a genitourinary medicine or sexual health clinic. The young people’s service.
I concretely understand that Pakistan is the developing country and our Government might not be able to offer full support like developed county “united kingdom “. For our next generation they should at least take the initiative and develop only few centers for rape survival. This is the urgent matter for the survival of our next generation.
Barrister Needa Chaudhry is a Barrister-at-law from United Kingdom