Our law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies are rather tone-deaf to the needs of rape victims
When it comes to prosecuting rape, our system is stuck in the past.
It is understandable that DNA tests are sometimes needed to prove a crime, but many cases of rape or even murder remain unsolved for the patently absurd reason that the genetic analyzer at the Dhaka Forensic Department is broken.
It must be asked: Why has it not been a priority for this machine to be fixed, or replaced?
Laboratory sources say the evidence for 208 cases submitted in the first four months of this year are yet to be tested.
With such long delays associated with rape victims getting their day in court, no wonder so few victims come forward with the truth.
The problem is worsened by the fact that our law enforcement agencies and judicial bodies are rather tone-deaf to the needs of rape victims, who are left hanging in the balance while a decision is made on whether they are to be believed.
It is truly time for an overhaul of how rape cases are handled, and this involves not only fixing the broken DNA-testing machine, but speeding up the process on all fronts while making the process more attuned to the needs of the victim.
Law enforcement officers need to be given adequate training on how to deal with these matters, and each police station should have at least one female officer at all times to take down rape cases -- it is absolutely imperative that a victim is never made to feel like the party at fault.
While the country moves ahead with expensive mega-projects, surely we have the means to fix a machine that can ensure justice for hundreds of rape victims?