KARACHI: It wouldn’t be a sweeping statement to make that the national daily of any publishing house in Pakistan has at least one news story on sexual assault, rape and harassment in its pages. And while we as a nation are selective in our outrage, at least 11 children are assaulted in Pakistan every day. Let that sink in, because the double digits are not a typo.
With every passing day, the news of a child’s assault becomes more horrifying with details that can put any sane person to shame. Details that can haunt people for days. Details that reflect the decay in humanity. One really needs to be ‘lucky’ to have not experienced sexual assault in their life or have had someone become victim to it.
Unfortunately the schoolboys of Sargodha seemed to have lucked out as they became prey to sexual assault by a gang of six members who not only assaulted them but also filmed it. The gang was only caught when a computer vendor had complained about them asking him to burn CDs with videos of their assault. Had it not been for the vendor, the men would have ruined lives of many more boys as the victims choose to stay silent owing to the stigma attached with sexual harassment or rape.
However, while we wait for a messiah – like the computer vendor in the Sargodha case – our governments go on about ignoring the issues that plague our society over power struggle. More importantly, we ourselves ignore the grotesque nature of these assaults and choose to brush them under our rugs. We leave our kids vulnerable to assault because we don’t want to educate them. Educate them about inappropriate touch, and educate our boys about consent.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2018.