Rape culture in Pakistan?
Yes, it’s an upsetting truth.
Rape has gradually turned into a culture of Pakistan. The Lahore motorway incident is in the limelight because the victim survived and police had taken notice but there are a number of incidents where the victims are assaulted to death, bodies stay in dungeons and not even the neighbours came to know about it.
If you shed light on Marwah case, a 5-year-old who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted, her parents came to know about her two days later when her burned body was found in the garbage heap. The barbarous men raped and burned her body. Then there are incidents like rape with a differently-abled girl who was at home, where neither her clothes nor the place was at fault but still she was raped. No women or children are secure to travel alone in Pakistan. In another incident, a harasser groped a cyclist on street without an ounce of fear.
According to a study (TRF Annual Poll), Pakistan ranks sixth on the list on the world most dangerous countries for women. Not only the rape but the domestic abuse is also high in Pakistan. Men don’t hesitate to beat their wives if the meal isn’t ready and not yet served, especially in rural areas.
We can come on the streets and protest against but how many people can we change through protest? Even if we publicly hang the rapist, does that mean that our country will be rape-free?
Charity begins at home. We should delve deep and find what’s the root cause of this emerging rape culture in Pakistan. Is it porn addiction? Way to betray women? Way to Stop women empowerment? Or to show that our country doesn’t belong to women?
A lot has been said on this, but I want you to take it towards how as a citizen we can slow down rape culture in Pakistan.
1. The Most Important Step: Stop Victim Blaming
In rape cases, the first question that comes to people’s mind is what was the woman wearing? Was she seducing the harassers? Why was she up on the streets late at night? It must be her fault.
Our attitude shouldn’t be like CCPO Umar Sheikh who takes pride in victim-blaming and tried to save his job by saying it was the victim’s fault. Rape is never the victim’s fault, it’s the system’s fault.
Why your zone isn’t safe for women? Why the rapist feels that if he rapes a woman, he’ll be able to roam freely and nothing can harm him in Pakistan. Rape has nothing to do with the clothes of women or the place. In history, rape has been used as a weapon in the wars to destroy the women of the enemies.
We all need to shut down victim-blaming at first. If you’ll say it’s the victim’s fault in front of your children, you’re encouraging them to make mistakes and defend it by saying it was the other person’s fault, not theirs.
And lastly, if the rapist knew he’s not going to be blamed of his heinous act, will he ever stop?
2. Invest in your Women
No nation has ever become successful by sidelining their women. In Islamic history, women have a great role in its success. They don’t only participate in wars but were also side by side with their men to support and fight for Islam. Hazrat Khadija (R.A) was the first women to accept Islam and showed great support to the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) while he was on the journey to spread Islam.
Similarly, we also need to educate women, teach them to be strong, teach self-defence so they can shield themselves in accidents like harassments, abuse and especially in domestic violence. If a woman is strong financially and socially and know how to guard herself, there are high chances of her safety. And if unfortunately, rape happens (May God perish the thought), then she’d be able to speak against it so the culprits can be punished.
3. Teach Consent to your Children
Consent is taking permission from the other person to agree to your desire. In simple words, if you ask someone to be your friend and they refuse then you should accept that instead of thinking that No means Yes.
No means no in every situation. Nobody has the power to control another person by force. It’s solely the person will even parents shouldn’t force their children to do anything if the children don’t agree. Respect everyone’s choices, be it man, woman or a child.
Here’s how you can teach consent to your children:
4. Stand Against all types of Violence
No one is born naturally as a rapist, they mould into one. The reason can be the environment, mindset or to have the power to control a woman. It might be because of the ignorance of parents when they find their boys making rape jokes, teasing, stalking girls. Or children might adopt the attitude from the men in the family who always try to control their women through violence.
So, it’s important to observe everything around you and nip the evil in the bud. Don’t promote any type of misleading behaviour even when it comes from your loved ones.
5. Talk to Your Children
In Pakistan, rape culture is becoming a norm because parents don’t feel that they should educate their children about good and bad touch. They don’t involve in conversations like this because it’s quite unacceptable in society and as a result, when children are abused or molested by their teachers or anywhere in family, they become silent and try to hide the things. They know if they’ll speak up, parents will advise them to stay quiet because our society blames victims for this not the perpetrators.
So, instead of shutting your children complaints make them comfortable to talk to you and stand against the wrong. Ask them to name the harasser and report it to the police.
Rape is rape, violence is violence and harassment is harassment, there’s nothing alternate to it and you can’t covered it by silencing the victims.
Change starts with you.
It doesn’t happen in a day or two.
If you stand today, tomorrow will be better. And if we keep on blaming the victim, then it means we’re encouraging the perpetrators to do more rape, to rob people and bring more evil to the society.