Time to break our silence against rapists and sexual predators

Time to break our silence against rapists and sexual predators
Within just six months, the statistics in terms of the number of rape becam dramatically changed in our country! Yes, in the last six months (between April and September) a total 632 rape incidents took place across the country and this statistics is compiled by the human rights organization 'Ain o Salish Kendra' from various media reports. On average, four women have been raped every day in the last six months of the coronavirus pandemic. This figure conspicuously shows us the miserable condition of our legal system and juctice for rape victims and how our laws are protecting these women and girls.

In the world, rape is now the most prevalent violence against women  and Bangladesh is sadly not exception. But in any country, it is normal to ambiguously raise question seeing such a alarming rise of rape to our judicial system . Because there have numerous iirregularities in case of finishing justice for victims which has lead the people to taking street demanding justice for victims. Before this,  we never observe our judicial system to finish the rape cases promptly. The question is now arising: how long time are  such cases needed to complete these cases?

We didn't forget Sohagi Jahan Tanu' murder case who was brutaly raped and murdered by some unknown goons. Even after passing more than three years, our legal system is yet to be able to investigate and bring the masterminds to book and justice still remains a far cry.

If we observe and analyse the rape cases of the last few years, we can term and define the justice as a illusion for the rape victims. Because, the first initiation of justice for rape victims, our law enforcers are not informed about the rape incidents in time untill the incident went viral on social medias and sparked strom outrages among the people.

For example, the latest incident of Noakhali housewife who was brutaly tortured and disrobed by some influentials of locals came to be known and grabbed attention of law enforcers tafter 32 days. The High Court is also astonished to see the promptness of police in this case also asked what they are doing in the 32 days. Probably, it wouldn't be able to make possible in the police in the close observation of the police, if the video of this incident went viral on social media and it sparked outrages among the people.

The long term process of justice for rape victims creates the opportunity and beneficiaries for rapists, offenders and they get bail by influentials and masterminds. This notorious culture of impurity has completely shaken our legal  system and made us compell to question about the impartial justice for rape victims. Let us forget the case of Subornachar woman who was brutaly gang-raped by the members of the ruling party because of just only voting exercise against ruling party. Most of the rapists and its mastermind are now roaming free by the blessing of the culture of impunity.

The culture of impunity has  now become a pillar of rapists, murderers and extortion which is fanning the rapists and offenders fame to repeatedly commit such a heinous crimes. This culture is as if for those who have a strong muscle power and their wung members  enjoy this benefit. It is known that this culture of impunity didn't create all of sudden and our political parties are responsible for this and they cannot avoid their responsibility at all.

For this, any kind of crimes like rape, we no longer see our political parties to be ashamed or express condemnation at such a heinous crimes. Rather any kind of bad incident that happens anywhere and is able to turnish the image of party, the party in power will immediately gets connection of opposition party and blame them for it without even a preliminary investigation. The party in power strongly believes "all good work are ours and all bad work are done by the opponents".  We must come to an end this culture otherwise we the people in general and the victims would be deprived of impartial justice.

In our country, the regulations and procedures a rape victims had to face and go throug mental trauma  completely leads the culture of impunity. Our legal system is  rapist friendly. Because in the conventional justice process, the victim women and girls have to face indecent remarks of the people,  bear all the responsibility of being proved the rape through medical test. There are numerous allegations and inconsistencies in performing the trial process such as negligence in collecting evidence, delaying investigation, submission of fabricated reports taking money from the opponent.

After all, the whole process of justice has been complicated so much for the rape victims that the victim gives up a ray of hope of getting proper justice own behalf of herself.  Now it is time to formulate new laws and legalistic process mus have strong commitment to investigate impartially.

Our state functionaries and relevant ministries  must formulate our existing laws considering the issues such as completing the justice within shorter time, compensating the rape victims and in this case the intervention of our prime minister is highly needed. In addition we must pay attention to our cultures in which our generation is growing up and it must be freed from all kinds of sexual contents. Our government has played important role in ensuring empowerment of women but sadly its reflection is conspicuously absence in reality. Now it is time for us to break our silence and to be vocal against all rapists and sexual predators.

Abul Khaer
Freelance contributor.
Student, Department of Zoology (NU)

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