Hospitals in the country are receiving alarming number of rape victims, most of whom aged from 10 to 20, say officials.
According to rights body Ain O Shalish Kendra as many as 1,413 women were raped in 2019. The number was 732 in 2018 and 818 in 2017.
Mausher Jonno Foundation Child Protection Coordinator Rafiza Shahin Jahan says that 902 children were raped last year. Among the victims, 39 percent were aged seven to 12 while 47 percent were aged from 13 to 18.
A spot visit to Dhaka Medical College Hospital's One-Stop Crisis Centre (OCC) on Monday (Jan 13) found all 13 people admitted there are rape victims.
Those who work at the OCC say that although victims of physical abuse and sexual harassment do go there, number or rape victims in the recent years have increased alarmingly.
OCC Co-Ordinator Bilqis Begum says that incidents of rape have surged since August of 2017.
Rights body Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) says that incidents of rape and abuse have gone up 76.01 percent since last year with 1,005 children being raped.
In a report, the organisation said that on an average 84 children were raped each month last year and 133 of the victims were aged from 1to 6.
According to BSAF amongst the child victims, 75 were raped by their teacher while 141 were raped by their neighbours.
Chattogram Medical College’s OCC is currently treating rape victims as young as 4 and 6 years old while two children aged 14 and 17 are admitted to Barishal Medical College Hospital.
An employee of Faridpur Medical College OCC said that they treated rape victims as young as 4-year-olds while a 10-year-old is undergoing treatment in Rangpur Medical College OCC.
DMCH OCC Coordinator Bilquis Begum said that children are easy targets because they are gullible and easily scared.
She added that unfettered internet use and moral lapse of the society are few of the reasons behind the increasing incidents.
National Human Rights Commission Nasima Begum says that although Bangladesh is a role-model for women empowerment, these incidents of rape and violence egged by social instability is bringing out adverse consequences.
National Institute of Mental Health and Hospital Assistant Professor Dr Helal Uddin Ahmed says that security of children have decreased significantly and one of the reasons is parents remaining busy.
He said that children from lower income families are more prone to falling victims as they can be easily lured.