Gender Abuse A Severe Threat To Society
Md. Shafiqul Islam
The recent series of rapes and sexual violence amid the Covid-19 pandemic has sparked widespread controversy across the country. Currently rape and sexual violence are severe threats for our society. Now, it is a public demand to protect our society from these threats. All the people in the society are panicked over the recent incidents of increasing rape. If we want to stop rape, we have to build social resistance. We must be united against such violences that happened in the society. We should be aware and vigilant against the rapists. The honour and dignity of our mothers and sisters is being ruined because of some bad people. This is a very alarming issue for the society.
The manner in which the rape takes place in different areas has shaken the whole country. I think the government and we all are embarrassed by this. These types of tortures and sexual harassment are unaccepted in a civilized world or society. These misdeeds are happening frequently due to various weaknesses in our society. We need to find out these weaknesses and take immediate action against it. We generally think that rape is organized only for biological reasons, but that is not true. The main reasons are the lack of initiatives to build social values and to improve social degradation. However, the slowness of justice is also accountable for this threat. The rate of justice is very low in Bangladesh compared to the number of rapes, abuses of women and children that take place every day or every month. Even many rape cases are not prosecuted due to political intimidation.
One of the causes behind the continuous increasing number of rape is the patronage of the rapist. Opportunistic supporters of various political parties patronize the culture of rape. There are also allegations that some rapists having strong political support do not have to face trial. However, the government is pursuing a zero tolerance policy against rape and is taking rapid action. Prime Minister has given direction to the law enforcement agencies in such way that the government will not compromise in any way; no matter which party the rapist belongs to. I think it is a praiseworthy initiative.
Drug addiction is also responsible for rape in many ways. Recently, a 72-year-old woman was raped by a perpetrator in Munshiganj who was addicted to drugs. Moreover, some other factors are responsible for the rape, such as negative effects of various websites on the internet and some foreign channels and programs. Different programmes in some foreign channels can play an indirect role in shaping the strategy of crimes. Seeing all this, criminals or youths may be encouraged to commit various crimes. So, the channels that carry negative information or can influence our children to go to astray must be shut down completely.
All citizens of the country are demanding the rape trial immediately. We are protesting and will continue this protest against all forms of rape and violence against women in order to eliminate rape from society. But this does not mean that bad language should be used in the name of protesting. Government must ensure the trial of the rapist or the perpetrators of the rapist so that nobody can be involved in rape and sexual violence.
Other crimes like child abuse or rape are increasing day by day in the society, creating a panic-stricken situation. Wherever children go, they live in fear. This hampers the mental growth of future generation. When children grow up in a state of panic, it is difficult for them to develop a strong intellect, contemplative thinking or creative talent.
Specially, trained physicians and nurses need to be recruited to assist children who are victims of sexual abuse. Police need to make arrangements so that people can easily report the incidents of sexual violence. Government can set up a district wise social unit to prevent rape and violence against women. We should introduce gender training for police and court officials to handle such accidents and establish a women police station and separate court for rape trial.
A drastic change is also needed in the education system to stop rape. In our country there are separate schools for boys and girls. It increases extreme curiosity towards opposite sexes. Various kinds of negative thoughts come in the children's mind. As a result, boys often grow a tendency to rape. So, I think we do not need any separate schools for boys and girls in the society. In a combined educational institution, they can think of each other as friends and closest companions.
In fact, rapists or abusers of women have no religion or identity, no party, no caste. The only identity of these beasts is that they are rapists and human-like culprits. We are demanding the speedy arrest and trial of all these criminals involved in the rape and oppression of women. Law enforcement agencies should increase monitoring to check these sorts of crimes. Above all, we need to ensure speedy exemplary punishment for heinous acts like rape, abuse of women and children. At the same time, everyone should be socially aware so that no one can play political blame game using the incidents like rape or sexual harassment to tarnish the image of the government. The Prevention of violence against Women and Children Act, 2000 has been enacted in the form of an amending ordinance, adding the death penalty as the maximum punishment for rape.
(Mr.Islam is Assistant Professor, Dept. of Accounting & Information Systems, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University).