I don’t have the heart to write this but it needs to be written. A lot has been said about the Kasur case but I feel whatever has been said so far will never be enough. Two hundred and eighty children were forced into child pornography. Whether they were teenagers or little children does not matter. What matters is that they were tortured, threatened and forced to perform sexual acts. Why do the authorities seem reluctant in taking strong action against the perpetrators? Is this issue not important enough? Yes, okay, it happens everywhere, as a certain member of the ruling party was quick to remind us, but does that justify any of it? No, it certainly doesn’t.
Please take a minute and Google rape cases. You’ll see reports of millions of them around the world. Then look up child abuse cases. That happens everywhere too — not only in third world countries, but also the more developed ones. Most victims choose not to speak up, in order to avoid the mental trauma of explaining and reliving their torturous experience. So imagine how many have remained silent on these issues for years. Records of such cases won’t ever be seen anywhere.
Generally, our society tends to criminalise the victims, fingers are pointed at the person who has faced the trauma, whose trust has been betrayed, who will probably never lead a normal life again, who will never trust anyone again. Sadly, that’s something which is happening in this case too, with attempts being made initially to downplay the scandal. That is the authorities’ way of brushing the case under the carpet. Rape and sexual abuse scar the victims for life. It should be the other way around; they should scar the perpetrators too. And that can only happen if they are apprehended and made to pay for their crimes. We shouldn’t let those criminals loose.
Let us not ignore Kasur. Let this news not become old. Soon something else will happen and this will become too old for people to care about. The front page headlines will be filled with some other news soon enough. And we will forget about this incident and the many other similar ones.
Let us keep the memory of Kasur alive. We need to work together to combat the issue of child sexual abuse. Not only in our country, but the world over; there needs to be a conversation on this. We need to keep our children safe and we need to prosecute those involved in abusing them.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2015.
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