Blaming Rape Victims For Their Choices Is Tantamount To Validating The Crime
A bride was recently gang-raped in Multan. The incident is such that it would send chills down the spine of every human being with a soul. The details are distressing. Four robbers, after having camouflaged themselves as policemen citing information of liquor, entered the house of a newly married couple in the wee hours and raped the bride in front of her husband. They then made away with five tola Gold and some cash from the victim.
The first night of the wedding is believed to be both pleasant and formative for a couple yet in this case rapists poisoned the couple’s pleasant night with an experience which will haunt them forever.
The crime of rape goes unabated in this state of Pakistan, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Because those in the corridors of power and administration entrusted with responsibility of giving a policy or direction, are hellbent on linking this heinous crime with the victim’s clothes, routes taken while travelling, revenue collection. They are also accused of faking rape to get foreign visa.
Not long ago, PM Imran Khan had linked rape to how women dress. Former Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) had blamed the victim of the motorway gang rape for taking the wrong route. Former president Pervez Musharraf once also said that women wanted to fly to European countries for which they fake their own rape.
“You must understand the environment in Pakistan…this has become a money -making concern.A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped,” the Washington Post quoted him as saying.
Such rationalising of rape by those at the helm of country’s affairs entrusted with responsibility of giving a policy and direction and the implementation of the same, does demonstrate that they have lost touch with ground realities much like the colonial masters. Under colonial projects, the indigenous populations were subjected to multiple crimes, but the colonial masters blamed the victims while declaring that those victimised had themselves to blame.
Women in Pakistan have muddled through misogyny accompanied by customary conclusions made in rape cases ,and they will continue to face the same until the ruling elites change their dark mentality with rationality thereby to put in a robust legal framework end the climate of immunity with which the rapists enjoy. Blaming the victims in cases of rape is colonial thinking. After all, our ruling elites and bureaucracy are remnants of colonial mindset. The elephant in the room is both powerlessness and helplessness of rape -victims in every context In Pakistan, rape is the issue of the powerless ,the weak and the underprivileged because the perpetrators of crime in question are quite convinced that they can do the act with impunity.Either the legal loopholes would help them get away with it or their social and political connections would enable them to carve out out-of-court settlements, with rape victims being cowed with dire consequences.
A recent revealing report published in Dawn newspaper disclosed that because of faulty investigation, poor prosecution and out-of-of court settlements, about 80 per cent sex offenders were acquitted in Islamabad. The newspaper quoted the judicial sources as saying that “in most cases faulty investigation, lack of proper supervision by senior officials, meager resources for low-paid investigation officers and weak prosecution were the reasons for such a higher percentage of acquittal.” The picture of the provinces in this regard must be darker than imagined. Justice is not only expensive but also rarely done to the ordinary in this country.
The state institutions turn a blind eye to rape as it is the children as well women of the ordinary citizens bearing the brunt of this criminal offence.
Calling rape victims as initiators of their own physical injuries citing misogynistic considerations like the dress, routes, revenue collection and a qualification for immigration is tantamount to validating the crime.