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Culture of impunity must end to stop crimes like rape

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08th-Jul-2019       
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THE Wari victim of rape, Samia Afrin Saima, was raped before she was killed. The body of the seven-year-old was found on Friday in an empty flat of the building her family lived in. At least 496 children have been raped in the first six months of this year across the country, said Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF), a platform of non-government organisations working for child rights. Of them, 53 were gang-raped and 23 murdered after rape. Twenty-seven of the victims are physically challenged. During the same period last year, 351 children were raped, the BSAF said in its report on July 2.
A culture of impunity and degradation of moral and social values are among the main reasons why rape incidents are rising. Other factors include easy access to internet and a lack of awareness among the people in general about the crime. Children are most vulnerable as they are unable to resist and can be easily intimidated by the perpetrators.
But we have written about all of these factors before. Degradation of moral values or not, a strong sense of justice which is actually implemented can go a long way towards ensuring that children and indeed, even adults, are not raped in such a frequency. While rapists are not generally people of sound mind even they would think twice if the were aware that the law would catch them pretty quickly if they were to commit such grievous crimes.
While a certain percentage of rapes can perhaps never be stopped a growing awareness among society about the dangers of letting their children go away unaccompanied will go a long way towards their safety. Parents have to be made more aware that they can't let their underage children go out of sight for any reason, especially for long periods.
If they play then they should be supervised by a single parent who can rotate the duties with all the parents of the other children. Such sensible supervision procedures will help a lot of children stay safe. Of course we can't really do anything much for the most vulnerable of the lot -- street children, but we can ensure their well-being by entrusting NGOs to do part of the job. It's unfortunate that the most vulnerable of our society have the least security.


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