Glorification of rape-accused: How fair? « Khabarhub
Sunday, July 21st, 2024

Glorification of rape-accused: How fair?



A few days back, we just witnessed a rape-accused actor be deemed innocent and freed from his time in prison.

While we may agree that he is innocent, despite the infamous audio tapes that had been revolving around social media sometime back, which had him speaking out that there was a sexual relationship between him and a minor.

The minor changing her statements and the accused’s family proposing marriage ensured that the case and the result were not straightforward.

However, let’s give him the benefit of doubt and agree that he is innocent. But the glorification, the garland, the grand welcome, the khada, tika – are we not disregarding the impact of sexual grooming and rape, are we not minimizing what sexual grooming and rape can mean to the victim, how it has led to so many lives being destroyed and so many suicides.

Was the celebration necessary? Doesn’t it disregard the gravity of the accused crime?

In 2018, WHO reported that one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime, most of which is perpetuated by their partner or someone they know.

Unsolved rape cases probably line longer than the distance to the sun, a country filled to the brim with corruption and political instability that we are dreading being merely a puppet state any day soon, inflation, unemployment, and what not?

According to the 2016 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 22% of women in Nepal aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence, and 7% have experienced sexual violence. 26% of ever-married women have experienced spousal physical, sexual, or emotional violence; violence was even prevalent during pregnancy for 6% of the women who have ever been pregnant.

Studies also show an equally acute case of under-reporting. There are multiple reasons victims don’t dare speak out – one such reason is openly visible on our social media.

A look into the Instagram page called trending Nepal, or the Routine of Nepal Banda of posts covering the said actor’s case or of a certain protest conducted at Maitighar Mandala right after is probably enough to justify why victims hesitate to speak out.

We must acknowledge that our society and justice systems are failing to provide a support system for victims.

As a woman and a citizen of Nepal, can we trust our society and our justice systems to support us if we dare speak out?

It is alarming that unsolved cases are piled up, a drunk driver can kill a woman, stay in the hospital throughout the short-lived jail term on the pretext of anxiety and depression, pay a few thousand rupees, and be left free, the inhumane passenger of the same car that murdered the woman can brag of her Versace coat without shame or accountability, a woman touched inappropriately by a man has to apologize publicly for slapping him just because he is a monk and she is an actress although the incident has proof, will she be able to slap the perpetrator the next time a such incident happens?

Unsolved rape cases probably line longer than the distance to the sun, a country filled to the brim with corruption and political instability that we are dreading being merely a puppet state any day soon, inflation, unemployment, and what not?

Such issues make it challenging for victims to trust the justice system and report abuse, exacerbating the already pervasive issue of underreporting.

Would anyone even trust the society, and the justice system of this country? Will any victim be able to speak out against abuse any time soon?

Publish Date : 11 March 2023 08:34 AM

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