Incidents of Rape and Demand for Public Hanging

By: Saira Naz

According to an estimation approximately 35% of women worldwide have experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. In the majority of countries that have data available on rape report that less than 40% of women who experience sexual violence seek help. Less than 10% seek help from law enforcement. Rape is unlawful sexual activity typically involving sexual intercourse done forcibly or under threat of injury against a person’s will. Rape is a worldwide problem. Because many women who experience sexual violence rarely report or come forward about their incidences, exact rape numbers are challenging to report. While many countries have laws against the act of sexual assault and violence, many of them are insufficient, inconsistent, and not systematically enforced. While people mostly hear about rape and sexual assault against women, men and children around the world also experience sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape every day. Women ages 16-19 are four times more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault and female college students ages 18-24 are three times more likely to experience sexual assault Statistics on rape and other sexual assaults are commonly available in industrialized countries, and are becoming more common throughout the world. But unfortunately no official statistics are available in Pakistan. Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and lead to accusations that many rape statistics are unreliable or misleading. Now in order to throw light on rape incidence in Pakistan, It is to be mentioned that about 3,881 cases of rape, 1,359 cases of child sexual abuse were registered in Punjab in 2019. Incidence of rape is increasing day by day. As many as eight children were sexually abused every day in Pakistan in 2019, according to a new report. Marital rape is treated the same as any other rape in Pakistani law punishable with death by hanging or up to 25 years in prison. However, only one case of marital rape has been reported in Pakistan despite it being a common problem. Recently two ‘robbers’ allegedly raped a woman at gunpoint in Gujjarpura area on Wednesday while she was waiting for help on the motorway after her car developed a fault, the incident that led to an uproar on social media and it was followed by another rape incident within 24 hours. As a result of rapid increase in rape incidents a resolution was presented in the Lower House of the Parliament by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan. The resolution stating that rapists of children should be awarded death penalty and executed publicly, was passed in National Assembly with a majority of votes. But Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) objected to the resolution, with the PPP’s senior leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf saying “We cannot put public hanging into practice as it violates the laws of the United Nations,” said Pervaiz, reminding members of the parliament that Pakistan is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In past too politicians and law makers have been neglecting this issue for instance Musharraf told the Washington Post in an apparent reference to the rape case of Mukhtaran Mai: “You must understand the environment in Pakistan… This has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped,” But now it’s the time to execute strict punishments against sexual assault and rape. But only strict laws and punishments are not enough for tackling this issue. We need general awareness and training for women and children to save themselves from abuse and report it immediately. There is an immense need for change in police behavior and attitude. Police must take action as soon as possible in these cases and there should be a committee or council to keep an eye on police performance and such cases should not be postponed and justice must be served immediately to relieve the victim and his family because it has been repeatedly reported that the assaulters threaten the victim of dire consequences and force them to take back complaints. The fact that most of rape cases are not solved and mostly abusers are released due to LACK OF EVIDENCE is encouraging people to commit this crime more. It is generally believed that strangers are the main perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Research shows that most abusers are often known to the child, and hence asking children to be cautious around strangers does not equip them to be also cautious around people who they are familiar with. So children must not be left alone anywhere. It is estimated that 47% are relatives, and 43% are acquaintances whereas only 7% are strangers. Mostly sexual abusers for children are cousins, neighbors, caregivers, religious leaders, teachers, coaches or anyone else who is in close contact with the child. Parents must note the change in child’s behavior and try to figure out the reason behind it. Also Pakistan ranked 6th in “world’s most dangerous country for women” survey of global experts released in 2018. So in order to make this country safe for women and children it is the need of time to provide safeguards to women and shift punishments to abusers. Today people are demanding public hanging of rapists on social media and it has been demonstrated by fact that thousands of people signed a petition within hours it was launched for public hanging of rapists. Many Public figures have agreed to this idea and openly supported it on social media. To conclude, Rape is a very serious issue and it is increasing very rapidly. Government and agencies in charge of providing safety have completely failed. Today many think that it’s the time to promulgate the Islamic laws and punishments for such cruel crimes. Which many think is the last hope.