The overshadowing of child rape cases

Udisa Islam
Published : 07:30, Aug 14, 2019 | Updated : 07:30, Aug 14, 2019

Representational image. Photo/India.comOn Aug 7, Rapid Action Battalion-11 arrested mosque cleric Md Fazlur Rahman, 45, for raping an eight-year old girl in Fatullah of Narayanganj while police detained thirty-year old Alam Mia in Biswanath of Sylhet for raping the daughter of a woman with whom he had engaged in an affair.
The sudden rise in the number of rape cases reported since the beginning of the year where the victims are mostly children has created panic among people.
The situation has become suddenly rather alarming with many cases of child rape being reported in a single day.
Bangla Tribune’s Research Cell found during its investigation conducted between Jan 1, 2018 till May 15, 2019 that the number of child rape cases reported throughout 2018 was equal to that number reported during only the four and an half months of this year.
A number of social and political organisations took to the streets to protest at the matter and called for measures to prevent incidences of child rape.
Social scientists and activists say that since these protest campaigns had failed to address the issue in a successful manner since they had no continuity to them.
The statistics, however, do not indicate that the discontinuation in protests have led to significant fall in incidences of child rape.
Social researchers and psychiatrists say that incidences of child rape have risen alarming in the past three years, with the highest numbers expected to be reported this year if the trend continued.
The number of attacks by perpetrators has also increased by after failing to rape the victim, they say.
According to them, negligence shown by the administration when a case is reported and lack of judiciary prosecution of the perpetrators are the main reasons behind the rise in child rape.
After analysing reports published in nine newspapers and according to the information obtained by its own monitoring cell, Ain o Shalish Kendra says that a staggering 161 victims have been raped in the month of July alone, with 31 of them being gang rape cases.
Bangla Tribune’s own analysis based on reports published in three newspapers say that 70 children were raped among the cases 115 cases reported in July.
Save The Children’s Child Rights Governance and Child Protection Sector Director Abdullah Al Mamun said, “When other issues continue to overshadow a particular issue, it would have the tendency to take a turn for the worse.”
The emergence of national disasters or other issues had overshadowed each child rape case of reported which would cause us to become immune to it at some point, he added.
Joint Convener of We Can Zinat Ara Hoque the non-government organisations had become project dependent and those who funded them discouraged them to take a strong stance in social issues.
“Back-dated laws, a corrupt administration and lack of accountability for police have caused the situation to deteriorate this much,” she added.
Zinat said that the incidence of child rape have risen gradually but not overnight as it seemed by sudden media coverage.
Women Rights Activist Khushi Kabir said, “There is no alternative to systematic and continuous protests to prevent child rape which must not be given an issue-based image every now and then.”