Rapes and murders; this needs to stop.

(Ammar Ali, karachi)

When you read the heading of the article; long lists of questions rise in your minds like ‘How will these stop?’ or ‘Can we actually do something about it?’ Guess what, yes you can! You can wake up now and take stand against all those rapists and murderers out there!

It is high time that we draw the attention of all the higher authorities that are busy in making money and playing the blame game to win the upcoming elections. It is about time that we actually remind them that the ones’ dying are somebody’s family, and somebody’s friend, not puppets that we watch them die every single time and pour only words of consolation once they’re dead.

We are still witnessing such incidents on a daily basis in different parts of our country. Some are reported while nobody reports the rest. And what will they even get after reporting the case, justice? Is that even a word in Pakistan? I think not.

The most recent case we all remember is the ‘Zainab Murder Case’ in which a 7 year old girl was raped and murdered brutally while her parents were away. The case was all over the social media and television as people started demanding for justice for the little girl. Also, due to constant protests all over the country by the citizens demanding ‘Justice for Zainab’, this led to grabbing the attention of the political leaders in Pakistan. This outrage in the country brought the result that her murderer was caught and was sentenced to death. However this verdict did not change anything as the Supreme Court of Pakistan did not take any step it promised to take.

The culprit of Zainab’s murder deserved to be hanged in public so that it could be a lesson to all who treat humanity like animals.

There are many cases that happened after Zainab’s murder. On 2nd April, a protest erupted when a 7 year old girl’s bruised body was found in Jaranwala tehsil, Faisalabad. The people residing in Jaranwala protested over it to receive the attention of the media over the case but failed to do so. Another case included a 25 year old girl named Abida Ahmed who was raped and then strangled to death. This case also, as expected went unnoticed.

Rape cases from all over Pakistan are being reported. Kasur has faced 6 minor rape cases in the month of April. Out of these six rape cases, 5 of them happened with boys. The ages of all the kids raped ranged between 5 to 7 years. These six cases also included a 12 year old girl.

Moving ahead, here are some facts and figures about “Child Abuse” rate in Pakistan which might help us analyze if anything has changed before or after Zainab’s murder case.

The following facts have been from the reports of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and some NGOs that work against child sexual abuse.
According to a recognized NGO’s report, 11 children become victims of sexual abuse in Pakistan every day. According to the latest numbers released by Sahil, an NGO that works on child protection with a special focus towards sexual abuse, a total of 1,764 cases of child abuse were reported from across the country in the first six months of 2017 alone.

In the previous year, the total number of reported child abuse cases stood at a staggering 4,139, bringing the total number of children being abused in Pakistan per day to 11.

According to data from Sahil, out of the total cases of child abuse from January to June 2017, 62 percent were reported from Punjab; 27 percent of cases were from Sindh, while 76, 58, 42, and nine cases reported from Balochistan, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, respectively.

There is a question that rises in our mind at this point and that is ‘Where is the media now?’ The media that practically claim that it has an eye on every thing happening in our country, why don’t we ask them why are they not highlighting this? Why is a speech over elections more important than children practically dying in our country every single day? Do normal lives even matter?

We have a list of questions but sadly, nobody to answer them. Our voices are often unheard which explains that the media does have an eye on everything, everything that matters to them, not the normal people. However, in simple words, the media only put up issues of their interest where they can get more rating, more advertisements and definitely more money and profit. Media has become a business of overhyped and fake news and there is nothing we can do about it.

Zainab’s murder case after being on the front page for 3 weeks was put off because the ratings had decreased. Media was supposed to conduct shows on awareness about child sexual abuse for the safety of the children in our country, but did our media actually do that? We all know the answer to this.

I believe that it is high time now where we actually learn that asking for help from the media or our politicians is not what will work out, because they barely care. We need to stand up for ourselves, our safety, and our people without any doubts in our mind. Because the children of our nation are not just their parent’s children, they are ours too.

The answer to the question about why are we failing to restrict such incidents is quite easy. We are failing because the criminals behind these incidents go easily unnoticed, and if caught, they barely get any punishment, or minor punishments are given to them for taking a life and a future.

Stricter rules lead to stricter punishments, and definitely less crimes. That is simple logic we all understand. This is why a strict punishment to one rapist could lead to fewer rapes all over the country.

Therefore, we need to understand that if it does not stop right now; things might get worse than this, and we definitely do not want that, Hence, this needs to stop!

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