Victims do not want symbolic gestures -- they want their cases to be heard
When it comes to administering justice for rape victims, our justice system is failing. This holds true in spite of recent efforts by the government to make changes in the light of nationwide protests against rape and sexual violence.
The whole process, from the hands of law enforcement officials to the law courts, is inefficient at best and negligent at worst, leading to a culture of impunity that allows rapists to frequently walk free.
In Rangpur alone, 1,000 cases have been found to be pending for over a decade, essentially turning the very notion of seeking justice to be nothing more than a farcical display of incompetence.
The root causes for such a scenario are plain to see: A shortage of judges, a lack of coordination within the government, witnesses not showing up, poorly conducted investigations by the police, incompetent prosecutors -- the list goes on.
Under such circumstances, rape victims have little to no chance of even hoping that justice will ever see the light of day, and the idea that perpetrators will be tried and prosecuted according to the letter of the law is a distant dream that will remain unfulfilled.
The government has already set down directives which provide a legal obligation to dispose of rape cases within 180 days, but the reality is that there are no visible ramifications for not doing so, further ensuring that the cycle of incompetence, mismanagement, and injustice continues to persist.
There must be widespread reform in our judiciary, and a pro-active insistence on fixing this problem from top to bottom in order for justice to once again become the priority.
How much longer before the justice system gets its act together and starts to carry out its duty? Victims do not want symbolic gestures -- they want their cases to be heard.