Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Children fall victim to revenge rape

Update : 16 May 2017, 10:14 AM
Over the past 5 years, there has been an exponential rise in child and teen rapes which experts say are an act of retaliation. Executive Director of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) Sheepa Hafiza said rapes of children aged between 7-12 has greatly increased in the last 5, adding: “Most of these cases are an act of retaliation over some fights, land disputes or money.” There are also the fact that minority children get raped with higher impunity as in the case of a 5-year-old child of Suvol Das from Dinajpur, Parbotipur who was has been undergoing surgery to for almost a year to fix the physical trauma of her rape. She was raped on October 18, last year. She had gone missing that night only to be found the next morning near her house, bleeding from her reproductive organs, injuries on her head, neck and arms and cigarette burns on her thighs. Suvol Dash speaking to the Dhaka Tribune said: “My daughter is traumatised. She scratches herself when she sleep and is afraid of men. “I filed a case against the accused but because I am poor, I get no justice.” He filed a case on October 20 last year under the Women and Child Repression Prevention Act Against Saiful Islam, 42 and Afzal Hossain Kobiraj, 48. On April 29 Hazrat Ali, 55 committed suicide along with his adopted daughter Ayesha Akhter by jumping in front of a running train near Sreepur Railway Station, Gazipur. Hazrat was in despair having failed to get justice from the local administration over an attempted rape of his daughter in January, and following repeated moves to grab his properties – the latest of which came only a day before his death by locally influential men. Analysing ASK data collected over 5 years, the Dhaka Tribune has found that children between 7-12 years of age are mostly raped with over 407 rapes just last year. The data also shows a collective 3,848 women and children were raped or were victims of attempted rape between January 2013 till April 2017 with 14.2% of them having committed suicide after. Coordinator of One Stop Crisis Centre (OCC) Dr Bilkis Begum, where most of the rape victims go for treatment said: “Children when they are raped suffer immense mental trauma. They sob continuously.” “We try and council them and their parents as much as we can but something like this at an early age affects their emotional and psychological development. “There is also the matter of social stigma that these children already feel as schools and peers and even parents sometimes make them feel like outcasts.” Data from ASK also paints a harrowing picture with 55% of the total rapes in five years were gang rapes of children under the age of 12. Sheepa Hafiza, executive director of ASK said: “People think being raped makes these children lose their purity and that is why they use it as an act of retaliation. But raping children means the men have lost their sanity.” “The country needs to develop counselling institutions to help these child rape victims cope with the massive mental trauma they have suffered.  There should be rehabilitation centres initiated by both public and private institutions,” said Shabnaz Zahereen, child protection specialist at Unicef.
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