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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Why did it take the police so long?

Update : 17 May 2015, 06:32 PM

We hope the Tk1 lakh reward announced by police for assistance in capturing persons suspected of sexual assaults during Pohela Boishak celebrations at Dhaka University, will prove helpful.

It is concerning, however, that the police have waited till now to seek help when the High Court issued a ruling on the matter some weeks ago, and it has been the subject of continual protests and debate.

The fact that this step has taken so long, despite huge public attention, is a reflection of the the apathetic manner in which many institutions treat sexual assault and harassment.

It was only after parents and pupils at a girls school in Mohammadpur began demonstrating against incidents of sexual assault on school pupils by staff, that authorities chose to dismiss two accused staff and a Vice-Principal accused of protecting them. Despite the furore created by this case, it is still not clear if the perpetrators will be brought before the law as the school did not file a case with the police.

As a society, we must become better at upholding the law and making sure that all incidents of sexual assault are treated as a criminal offense subject to the harshest punishment.

In order to do do this effectively, society needs to change the misogynist attitudes which embolden perpetrators to target women for harassment or assault.

People in authority must not  look the other way or to seek to cover up sexual assaults. It is the perpetrators who need to feel shame and fear, not their victims.

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