War against rape losing too many battles

Published: February 19, 2011
Girls between the ages of 18 and 23 years the most vulnerable.

Girls between the ages of 18 and 23 years the most vulnerable.

KARACHI: Korangi appears to harbour the most number of rapists, if one goes by the numbers. Twenty-two per cent of rapes were reported from this town in 2010. Gadap (15), Gulshan (9) and Bin Qasim (6) followed.

But this is not a complete picture because this crime is grossly under reported. Violence against women is seemingly systematic, given its prevalence and varied forms and the fact that it makes up 95 per cent of cases of violence reported. The War Against Rape (WAR) revealed these statistics at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday.

WAR representatives claimed that the government’s efforts were ineffective. They quoted data released by the police — 103 stations — along with Civil, Jinnah and Abbasi Shaheed hospitals which showed an eight per cent rise in registered cases and seven per cent more medico-legal examinations in 2010 from 2009.

In another sad revelation, WAR told the press that 31 per cent of cases reported against a family member resulted in the family shifting away from their home and removing themselves from the legal system to avoid social persecution.

WAR said that the legal definition of sexual violence must be broadened to include incest and object, digital and marital rape as well as non-penetrative abuse. Cases with no marks of physical violence, delayed reporting, against the state and victims under 16 years are often overlooked despite the victim’s testimony. They also said that since courts do not place restraining orders on all the accused released on bail, they often continue to harass the survivors.

These factors, coupled with the hostile and sceptical reception given to survivors by support services and society, contribute to the dismally low conviction rate in sexual assault cases — three per cent annually since 2003.

Survivor statistics in 2010

95% – Female

32% – Over one rapist

33% – 18 to 23 years

31% – Families displaced

15% – 6 to 11 years

43% – Less than 16 years

55% – Less than 18 years

25% – 12 and 17 years

22% – Reported in Korangi

15% – Reported in Gadap

9% – Reported in Gulshan

6% – Reported in Bin Qasim

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • abdul sami
    Feb 19, 2011 - 10:40AM

    These stats are horrific!!! Why are our people so sick & depraved?? 55% of the rape victims are under 18 !! We are a nation of paedophiles.

    The sad thing is that we don’t realise that there’s anything wrong in paedophilia.our society promotes underage marriages so sex with minors is nothing new or wrong for our people.Recommend

  • muhammad usman
    Feb 19, 2011 - 10:45AM

    well what do you expect! Paedophiles in our country have religious protection & approval.

    Our maulvis proudly & publicly declare that it’s all right to marry 9 year old girls !!! What else do our people need,when they have the religious approval to carry out their sick,depraved desires.

    When you make raping of minors religiously legal ( and yes sleeping with an underage child is ‘rape’ no matter if a fanatic maulvi has performed the nikah) then you’ll have rampant paedophilia in the society as we are seeing in ours.

    these maulvis performing marriage ceremonies for paedophiles have to be locked up & unambigously condemned by the media & the society at large.Recommend

  • muhammad ali
    Feb 19, 2011 - 10:52AM

    why is this article not in the featured sections at the top of the tribune’s page ,instead of being hidden down in one line.This should be put at the top as this issue confronts millions of our women everyday.Recommend

  • azhar akhtar
    Feb 19, 2011 - 11:51AM

    when a society views women primarily just simply as “sex objects” & cannot perceive them as CEO’s,CFO’s,managing directors then this thing will continue.Men in other countries also work & interact with women but they don’t have our level of rapes even if our level of interaction of the sexes is much much lower.

    The western men have come to perceive women as engineers,scientists,heart surgeons & not just sex objects whereas our men do their level best to restrict women to the chaar diwari.
    Boys will want to marry a “daaktar” to increase their status but will make sure the “daaktarni” doesn’t work after marriage,that she becomes only a maasi with an MBBS degree.Recommend

  • shahzad bawany
    Feb 19, 2011 - 12:21PM

    The tragedy of rape victims in our society is that after rape no one cares about the psychological trauma the victim has gone through,all that anyone cares about is the family’s ” izzat”.
    No one has a kind word to say to the victim,instead the family members,neighbours,relatives all take turns in blaming the girl for letting herself get raped!!!
    The most common sentences from the relatives go something like:

    “Aye hai,ab iss se kaun shadi karayga,isnay to hamari izzat matti may milwa di,iska “sahara” kaun banega”Recommend

  • abbas imtiaz
    Feb 19, 2011 - 1:43PM

    As long as women don’t realise that if they want respect & value at home & in society they have to get an education & then work & continue to work after marriage.
    A lot of our girls waste their life by staying at home to become babymaking factories only & wasting their education .Thousands of MBA’S & MBBS’S have become housewives sitting at home wasting their education instead of contributing to society by working.Recommend

  • Meera Ghani
    Feb 20, 2011 - 3:44AM

    I’m soooooooooooo mortified. I never knew that statistics were that bad. Why isnt this issue making headline news???

    Lets start by all becoming members of WAR and encourage those who know to have been victims to report their cases and make sure that the state provides them protection. I commend the work WAR has been doing and for making these stats public.

    We need more tv shows on the issue to make people understand that these girls and women don’t bring it upon themselves. That rape has not just physical affect but long lasting psychological affects. We need to change the mindset where the victim is blamed rather than the rapist. This is the most deplorable act that goes mostly unnoticed and unpunished.

    We need to set up centers all across Pakistan that help the victims and their families deal with this and get justice.Recommend

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