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Zero tolerance for sexual violence

  • Published at 12:00 am July 13th, 2019
Rape
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Such individuals deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina personally emphasizing the need for enacting stricter laws to prevent rape, as well as enforcing stringent punishment for the perpetrators, should be a wake-up call for a nation where the scourge of sexual violence has become a sickness that is fast spreading in our society.

Earlier this month, a report by Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) said concurrent rapes against minors have doubled in the second quarter of 2019, with 332 incidents reported between April and June -- these harrowing numbers should compel all of us, as a nation and as a people, to stop in our tracks and take a long hard look into our society.

While the PM’s reassurances that the government will take necessary steps to combat the spread of this heinous act is encouraging, and it is good to see our leader step in herself, there is little doubt that in the battle against rape and sexual violence, each and every member of society has to play their part.

There should also be strong agreement with the PM’s urge to media outlets to keep exposing rapists and perpetrators of sexual violence -- such individuals deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and media outlets must do their part in aiding law enforcement in identifying the culprits.

Ultimately, there must be widespread changes carried out, from the root to the stem, if we as a nation are to better ourselves when it comes to reducing, preventing, and eliminating cases of rape, sexual abuse, and assault in the future.