A concern for all seasons: Violence against children in Bangladesh continues to rise, particularly because children remain easy targets.
To top off children’s vulnerability, it is also the heavily flawed trial system and social stigma that have continued to support offenders, molesters, and rapists to live a life without repercussions for their actions.
In such a daunting reality, it is unfortunate that parents -- mostly those who lack the financial solvency to fight the legal battles -- fail to demand justice for their children who have been abused and traumatized.
The problem is two-fold: Poverty-stricken families do not only lack the resources to fight legal battles, but they lack the knowledge of trial procedures. In such circumstances, the perpetrator gets to walk away scot-free.
To add insult to injury, many of these families opt to hush up their children’s stories of assault and trauma out of fear of social stigma.
The mark of a civilized society lies in how well its vulnerable communities are protected, and to that end, it is the duty of the government, unions, and local communities to come forward to protect children from violence, sexual and otherwise.
Families who lack the resources and know-how to take their children’s offenders to court, should be sponsored and assisted by government agencies. Moreover, it is high time that communities do better in treating child victims as victims and perpetrators as monsters, and not the other way around.
The only feasible approach that can be taken to tackle this phenomenon head-on is collective action. We must rise up to do all we can to protect all children; after all they are our most vulnerable, and most precious, of our citizens.