I would like to take this opportunity to raise my voice about a subject that many have deemed ‘taboo’ in this country which I believe is one of the biggest reasons why it has become such a grave and worrying problem.
Thanks to social media, every day I hear of sexual abuse and harassment cases especially in the interior parts of the country. They mostly go unnoticed and unreported to forces of law and order due to a lot of reasons but mainly in a bid to conserve a woman’s honor or the lack of law enforcement in the rural areas itself.
According to a research, in 2018 alone, 3832 cases of child abuse were reported of which most of them belonged to the interiors of Punjab. It is concerning how an issue that is an uncomfortable discussion for many has become very real and is pertinent in our society with around 72 percent of the cases being reported from the rural districts. These areas are most of the time underserved and overlooked owing to heaps of influence from political parties in the country.
Moreover, the overall resistance to report sexual assaults in these areas gives off a general impression that these communities aren’t as affected and beyond all, even IF such crimes are reported there is little that is done and the amount of laxity shown by the law enforcement is appalling!
Sadly, our law enforcement and judiciary usually neglect cases concerning the underprivileged and therefore we see a surge in these heinous crimes because there is no fear of repercussions. Police is either bribed or influenced by those in power and the majority of the cases are brushed off under the carpet.
It is my request to the government and the people to stand in solidarity with the victims of sexual assault and to tighten up the law enforcement agencies in these areas so that the criminals meet with legal ramifications and consequences that are adequate and as severe and disgusting as their crimes.
Amber Shaikh, Karachi.