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A failure of the system

  • Published at 12:05 am August 22nd, 2019
Gavel and Hammer
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Too often, it is the victims of sexual violence who are blamed and shamed

The High Court hit the nail on the head when it reiterated something that has been known for a while -- that there is a correlation between the alarming increase in rape incidents across the country and the system’s consistent failure in providing exemplary punishment to the criminals responsible.

The HC noted that, despite directives and obligations that exist for tribunals to accelerate the trials of cases filed, these are often not followed accordingly, except in a nominal number of cases, causing massive delays and piling-up of cases -- a most frustrating predicament.

This is why rapists continue to be emboldened: They know at the end of the day, the system which is supposed to provide justice for the victims is essentially broken.

Additionally, it remains a matter of great shame that we, as a nation and a people, continue to be enablers of this most pressing concern rather than provide solutions and support; too often, it is the victims of sexual violence who are blamed and shamed for what they have had to endure -- a most toxic mindset.

Furthermore, it is extremely difficult for women to report rapes in the first place; so it is all the more disgraceful that justice is being denying even to the few brave survivors who do come forward.

It is about time this changed; it is about time women, children, and people of Bangladesh felt safe in their own country.

While we may be enjoying a historic period of economic growth, such prosperity is all for naught if we continuously fail to protect our people from the scourge that is sexual violence and rape.