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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

What's behind the juvenile rape epidemic?

  • 'The availability of pornography is the main reason behind the rise'
  • Around 50 children and teenagers raped between January and March this year, shows data 
  • Experts also refer to the misuse of technology
Update : 28 Apr 2024, 12:59 PM

On April 21, a 12-year-old was accused of raping a four-year-old child in Rupnagar residential area of the capital. Two days before that, on April 19, three teenagers allegedly raped an 11-year-old child. These young, all of whom are between 12 and 14 years of age, admitted to their crime before a court. They were sent to juvenile development centres. 

Data show that most of the accused in recent incidents of child rape are below 18 years of age. Teenagers who are supposed to be busy with studies and sports are getting involved in serious crimes such as rape. 

According to experts, the availability of pornography is the main reason behind the rise in such rape incidents. They also say that this cannot be the only reason and there may be more reasons behind such incidents and the authorities must act on them immediately.  

According to Ain o Shalish Kendra (ASK), around 50 children and teenagers were raped between January and March this year in different parts of the country, including the capital. Of these, there are six incidents of gang rape and two murders after rape. One of the victims committed suicide following her rape and there were ten other attempts of rape that were reported at the same time. 

In 2022, Manusher Jonno Foundation and INCIDIN Bangladesh published a survey, titled ‘Situation of violence against children in Bangladesh'.

The survey was conducted between June 2020 and May 2021 on 5,074 children across 11 districts. According to the survey, 55% of the children have been sexually abused within their families. The survey revealed that 34% of the children had experienced pornography. Moreover, 75.1% of them have watched porn through the internet on mobile phones.

Advocate Salma Ali, president of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA), told this correspondent that family values are on a declining trend in Bangladesh due to various political and social reasons. As a result, various criminal activities are also on the rise among teenagers. However, the main reason for the increase in sexual violence among teenagers is the misuse of technology and the internet. Children and teenagers are getting addicted to various games as opposed to physical exercises, she added. 

Referring to the misuse of technology, Salma Ali said that the obscenity that is spreading online in the name of various games should be forbidden. The children's playgrounds are closed and various structures are being built there. As a result, teenagers are getting addicted to these devices. It must be prevented, she advocated. 

Psychiatrist Dr Md Rahenul Islam said, the accessibility of pornography to children and teenagers is a major reason for their involvement in such crimes. Teenagers are getting addicted to various porn games online. Due to which they are getting interested in making love at a young age.

He also said that children and teenagers of the cities are not familiar with the vastness of nature. Device-dependent teenagers grow up differently due to lack of a social life, he added.

Inamul Haque Sagar, superintendent of police (Media and Public Relations) at the Police Headquarters, said that the law enforcement forces are working to eliminate such crimes from society. Besides, awareness is being created at the grass root level through different police stations and through community policing.

The official also said that the cyber team of the police is constantly working to control the cyber world through cyber patrolling. Various measures are being taken in coordination with concerned parties. At the same time awareness should be created within the families and society in this regard, he added. 

Parents should always be questioning themselves regarding what their child is doing and where he or she is now. Their movements should be tracked, the official said. 

He requested the parents to call National Emergency Service 999 for help in case of an emergency. The official also mentioned that the identities of family members and the subject will be kept confidential if necessary.

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