Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper

Strict implementation of law can stop children's sexual harassment

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RIGHTS campaigners said a growing number of sexual harassment of children has become a social malady as 29 out of 46 rape victims in January were below 18. But the number that appeared in media is the tip of the iceberg as most of the incidents remain unreported. Rights body Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) said that among 29 victims, 13 were aged between five and 12, showing the insecurity and vulnerability of female children. Diminishing social values and religious practices, easy availability of porn and culture of impunity have been identified as the primary reasons for the increasing rape incidents.
The Rights body reported that; of the 71 violated women and children, 32 were between six and 18 years old. In 2018, at least 732 women and children were raped across the country. It is apprehended that children are targeted in particular because they could resist the least and could be intimidated easily. We think, the parents should make their children aware of the dangers. The surge of sexual violence is caused by the culture of impunity and political and economic clout of the oppressors. Less than 2 per cent of rape cases filed between 2012 and 2017 ended in conviction as many perpetrators forced the victims to settle the matter outside courts. Besides, sometimes the legal process is so humiliating that the victims lose their interest. Data from Dhaka Metropolitan areas paint even a grimmer picture --- just 1.06 per cent cases saw convictions between 2002 and 2017.
Rape, gang-rape and murder after rape --- all have become common in this society where rules of the law went hibernation in the age of women empowerment and gender parity. Children who fall victim to abuse may suffer from mental disorders, depression and social phobia in future. We must establish a safe haven for our kids and women. Despite all the odds, we cannot let the criminals rule over the innocents.

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