In Pakistan, Two Men Raped A Woman In Front Of Her Children. The Police Say She Chose The Wrong Route. Because Why Hold Men Responsible?
Here is an interesting question- how many women, do you think, who have spoken out against their assailants have received quick justice? I might not know the exact figure, but I can tell you it’s not a lot. Do you know why? It’s because the police spend more time trying to find ways to pin the crime on the victim than they do trying to nail the man or men who are actually responsible. So many versions of whether she was “asking for it” by wearing short clothes or leaving her house in the night without a male chaperone, emerge but it looks like no one is actually looking for the criminal. Instead of questioning, grilling and then shaming the victim shouldn’t the accused be blamed for what actually is his fault?
It’s no secret that the rate for violence against women in India is skyrocketing. But today, we are not discussing a rape case from our country which is surprising given that we seem to be reaching out to the title of being the ‘rape capital of the world’quite eagerly. When it comes to rapes, domestic violence and general oppression of women Pakistan in a worse condition than we are. Than most countries are, actually. And the incident that we talking about right now is just a small example of the horrid deeds that happen with women there and just how much the police care.
On Tuesday night, a woman was brutally raped by two men in front of her children. The perpetrators did not stop there. They also looted jewellery of about PRK 1 lakh from her.
The alleged rape in Lahore-Sialkot motorway on Wednesday night led to outrage in the country, with people from all walks of life demanding the apprehension of the suspects.
(reports Imtiaz Ahmad)https://t.co/UyzTlTCcGP
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) September 10, 2020
The woman was driving to Gujranwala, Pakistan in her car with her two children. At around 1:30 am, her car ran out of fuel and she decided to stop at the Gujjarpura motorway. She called her relative and sent him her location. He advised her to call the motorway helpline number and get some help. When she called the helpline, it didn’t help.
She was told that no officer was assigned to the emergency bench and that is why they could not send any help. In the meantime, the two accused, who were armed, approached her vehicle, broke her car windows and forcibly took the woman and her children to a bushy area on gunpoint. There, they raped the woman in front of her children.
When I read this, I had goosebumps. It’s just so vicious and horrifying. Just can’t image the impact the ordeal has left on her and her children.
After raping her, they stole jewellery of about Rs 44,000, a bracelet, car registration papers and 3 ATM cards from her and fled the scene. After the incident, the woman was taken to the hospital and an FIR was registered.
The CCPO is clearly saying our country’s moral values are worse than France’s where a woman can safely travel on the motorway at night, whereas in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan our values are of rape and assault on women. https://t.co/S8qNztFJMd
— Sabahat Zakariya (@sabizak) September 10, 2020
Now, in usual circumstances, an FIR being filed is a good thing. It means that the police will investigate and eventually catch the accused. But in case, the lead investigating officer assigned to this case is blaming the victim for leaving the house all by herself, so late in the night.
A video of the CCPO of Lahore, Umar Sheikh, who is leading this investigation, has gone viral. In the video, he is talking to a local news channel about the gruesome incident. He said that the woman had left Lahore’s Defence area around 12:30 am and was heading towards Gujranwala.
He said, “I am surprised that a mother of three, a lone driver after leaving Defence should have taken the straight route from GT Road a generally well-populated area.” Further adding that the victim could’ve at least checked the fuel tank of her car before leaving.
This is CCPO Umar Sheikh of the esteemed Punjab Police, for whom one IG has already been let go. This victim blamer is supposed to protect us? pic.twitter.com/yoeZc7kBI0
— Zebunnisa Burki (@zburki) September 10, 2020
Seriously? In that entire video not once did he mention the men who committed this horrific crime. Instead, he is shaming the victim by saying that Pakistani society does not let their women roam around in the middle of the night with her children. It’s infuriating to see with what ease he is blaming the victim. He basically said that she got raped because she chose a different route and was out in the night.
It’s so messed up that he would pin such a gruesome rape on the victim and just leave the accused out of the conversation. He is basically saying that it makes sense that she was raped because she stopped to get petrol in the middle of the night. The police’s job is to find the people responsible, make them pay for what they did and ensure they don’t repeat their crimes. Instead, here we see this officer outright blaming the victim for everything that happened. It’s her fault, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She should’ve known better. We call bullshit.
Also Read: This Pakistan-Based American Blogger Has Accused Three Senior Pakistani Politicians Of Rape And Assault. Details Are Awaited
Victim shaming or blaming the victim is not going to help anyone. It’s only going to frighten people further, traumatize the already traumatized victim and give the accused more time to escape. It needs to stop and the accused need to be held responsible. If the police focus on that instead and do their job, maybe the motorways and all the other roads will be safe for women.
There need to be laws in place that make life easier for the victim of such a heinous crime.