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Eliminating the culture of impunity

  • Published at 12:03 am September 5th, 2019
WEB_Child sexual abuse
Photo: Twitter

About 11 women and children have been abused each day

In the wake of Tuesday’s demonstrations across the country -- at 200 venues in all 64 districts -- organized by several human rights groups, civil society bodies, and hundreds of other associated organizations, one thing has been made abundantly clear: The scourge of sexual violence is only getting worse, and it is about time something is done.

The numbers in 2019 for the first six months are nothing if not terrifying: About 11 women and children have been abused each day, with over 600 women and nearly 600 children raped, according to statistics provided by Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF).

While the demonstrations are commendable and we hope that both the authorities and the general population are paying attention, ultimately, demonstrations such as these, while increasing awareness which is extremely important, are sadly not enough to prevent this deep sickness that prevails and exacerbates in our society.

Indeed, what must be done is to eliminate the culture of impunity and victim blaming that prevails, and punish the perpetrators to the full extent of the law when found guilty, without the trials dragging on. 

To that end, the formation of sexual violence prevention committees on an institutional level will be a good first step, and we hope that it is the first of many steps the authorities look to employ.

To say that sexual violence is a problem in our country is, at this point, the severest of understatements -- it is among Bangladesh’s ugliest of realities, something which continues to loom over our country like a dark cloud, a consistent negativity which undermines all the positives the country has achieved in recent years.