We must demand more of our law courts
It is alarming to learn that 50,010 cases were filed over violence against women and children in 2019 -- showing the depths of this most serious problem in Bangladesh.
However, what is even more egregious is that, as the cases filed continue to rise year on year, the backlog of cases also showed little respite, with thousands of cases remaining stalled and not addressed, denying justice to hapless victims.
Moreover, due to legal loopholes, the accused can be out on bail, and due to the lengthy trial processes and connections to powerful people, they threaten and intimidate the victims, often forcing them to withdraw their cases or not appear before courts, fearing for their safety.
This is nothing but a slap on the faces of the victims, who not only have had to go through the unimaginable horror and trauma of their experiences, but when they are seeking justice for the heinous crimes committed against them, are given little reassurance that justice will be served.
Indeed, this lack of justice and lack of confidence in the legal system only further emboldens the criminals who believe that they can get away with anything and will not be punished. Surely, this cannot be the way a functional democracy runs, where these barbaric individuals and groups who prey on the most vulnerable in our community continue to do so with impunity, with not a care in the world, believing that they can manipulate the legal system in their favour.
Enough is enough. When our legal system consistently fails to provide justice to those who have been victims of violence, the entire nation suffers. We must demand more of our law courts.