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Dhaka Tribune

Victim-blaming must end

It is time for all of us to rise up and fight this deep sickness within our society

Update : 09 Aug 2019, 10:52 PM

There is little doubt that, as a society, we have consistently failed to support women who come forward to report abuse.

While this issue has persisted within our cultural and social fabric, it has been brought to light yet again; when a 14-year-old girl spoke up about a school teacher in Narayanganj who has now been charged of raping at least 20 students, the student’s act of courage was instead vilified by other students, teachers, and guardians and compelled her to change schools.

It is a matter of great shame that, far from rewarding the bravery of certain girls and women who come forward to speak up against perpetrators of sexual violence, society repeatedly turns its back on them, downplaying the severity of these heinous acts and preferring to remain silent.

Indeed, it is because of our twisted and retrograde attitude towards women’s autonomy and victimhood that such a sickness -- and this is nothing but a sickness -- continues in our society.

It is, therefore, also a fact that as a culture, we still do not take sexual violence as seriously as we should; there is no justification in harassing accusers and whistle-blowers instead of ensuring that justice is served and the accused, if found guilty, are punished to the full extent of the law.

There has to be a time to say enough is enough. It is time for all of us to rise up and fight this deep sickness within our society -- a sickness that keeps letting rapists and abusers off the hook while punishing victims.



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