Children are said to be a blessing, however, with recent tragic events, we seem to have forgotten to take care of this blessing. When was the last time we sat to read our daily news and did not find at least one article on child abuse?
More or less, all these abuses have the same outcome. A child is raped by someone who can only be classified as a devious monster. Parents take actions only to get some money as a fine and the abuser is set free.
Consider the Habiganj incident for instance, a child was raped by her neighbor in the absence of her parents being home and the monster was allowed to walk free after he paid BDT 20,000 as an out-of-court settlement to the victim's parents.
Few parents choose to demand justice, and others just choose silence. A child's innocence is measured in money, and thus, 'justice' prevails. However, does a fine suffice for such a horrendous crime?
A price tag for a bruised childhood, and a hand full of number printed notes in exchange for a livestock of nightmares-- that is how justice prevails, not death penalty!
Rapists and sexual abusers often claim how they were provoked by the victims. So what did a six-year-old do to provoke a 35-year-old man? How exactly did she "ask for it"? Such questions are always followed by one unanimous answer--silence.
Unable to even spot these wolves, little riding hoods fall prey into their lustful claws and lose their world to serve a momentary pleasure and are awarded pain in return. Physically and mentally tormented, such poor souls are left on the mercy of time for healing.
It is high time parents sit with their young children and discuss them the difference between 'good touch' and 'bad touch'. They should be taught to always inform their parents if they witness any sort of misbehavior, starting from their chauffeur to their teachers.
Parents should be careful while choosing the people they hire to take care of their children. The abuser is not always an outsider. In fact, in most cases, the abuser is someone from the family. Guardians should notice if their child feels uncomfortable around any of their relatives. This will help them keep their children safe from such evil intentions.
A recent incident took place where a father received a lifetime jail sentence for raping his school going daughter. He was also fined BDT10,000 which frankly is nothing compared to the trauma his daughter will live with for the rest of her life.
According to sources, he even got his daughter pregnant at one point. At this point, one question is really making way on my mind, who exactly is my child safe with?
Children should not be hushed when they ought to share their problems. Saving a child is far more important than being a slave to prejudiced social etiquettes.
This is probably the worst thing anyone can do to their children and claim this was "for their own protection". Not putting light on the crime just to keep your so-called "honour" makes the parents a part of this heinous crime as well.
Social workers should also spread awareness around rural areas as most of the rape cases merge from rural regions. Majority of these people are uneducated and not always can guide their children. As a result, rape cases in such areas are rarely reported.
Some spoken of, some left in dark, yet, the number of rape cases never seizes to go up. According to rape statistics, from January 2014 to December 2017, a total of 17,289 rape cases of women and child rapes were recorded throughout the country. Among the total number, 13,861 were woman and 3528 children.
Every morning when my mother drops off my younger sister to school and her hands tremble in fear, a fear that is known to all but barely spoken of, I want to hold her hand and say, "Don't worry, she is in safe hands." It is high time we, as one, fight these predators. If not now, then when?
The writer is pursuing her BA Honours in English at Independent University Bangladesh (IUB).
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