• Friday, Feb 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:10 pm

O Level student rape: FemGen Alliance condemns victim blaming

  • Published at 07:11 pm January 11th, 2021
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

The platform also criticized media coverage of the incident and called for families of men and boys to hold them accountable for any violence they perpetrate

The Feminists Across Generations (FemGen) Alliance, a platform against gender-based violence, has condemned widespread victim blaming and mishandling of the case over the recent rape and murder of an O Level student. 

In a statement issued on Monday, the FemGen Alliance also demanded that families hold their boys and men accountable for any violence they perpetrate and for educational institutions to introduce comprehensive sexuality education.

“We urge parents to discuss openly with their children, especially their sons, about consent and emphasize that no means no. As citizens of the country, we are angry and we demand answers; as parents we want a safe country for our children, not one in which they are taught not to trust their friends,” the statement said.

Also Read- Police: Evidence will determine facts of O Level student rape case

“Why are we asking why the child victim trusted a friend, why she went to a friend’s house, why the girl’s parents allowed her to be out, etc, instead of asking why the police did not cooperate with the victim’s family, why there is lack of transparency in the case process? We want an end to this victim blaming that pushes survivors into silence, makes it difficult for them to get justice and allows rape culture to perpetuate,” it added. 

Police escort Fardin Iftekhar Dihan, the lone accused in a case filed over the rape and murder of an O Level student in Kalabagan, Dhaka, to a lower court in the capital on Friday, January 8, 2020 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune“We are tired of unnecessarily elongated investigations and trials, of authorities failing to properly carry out their duties - such as recording the actual age of the victim as well as the perpetrators,” the statement further said.

Regarding media coverage of the incident, the statement said: “We are also particularly disturbed by the media - printing articles which disclose the victim’s identity as well as pushing forward narratives that put the onus on women again and again of failing to save themselves. 

“Instead of encouraging readers to dissect the behaviour and actions of the victim, the media needs to hold perpetrators accountable. We demand that media outlets maintain strict standards and guidelines when it comes to sexual violence reporting,” it added.

The statement concluded by expressing solidarity with the victim and all other victims of sexual violence.

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