Violated by the system; the agony of rape victims

Swansong

Loopholes in law, complicated legal formalities and lack of compensation highlight the insensitivity of the system, adding to the agony of rape victim.

When 13-year-old Sameera (name changed) was raped, her mother, a ragpicker, was unsure where to go and whom to complain to. As they were to find out, filing a police complaint was merely the beginning of more trouble. Lawyers say the system has always treated rape victims as the accused and ignored their trauma. And the nightmare only gets worse if an accused gets bail before the trial.

The ordeal of rape stretches far beyond the anguish of the incident. The victim has to grapple with the legal aspects and paperwork, leaving little time for psycho-social intervention.

In a country where sexual crimes against women are on the rise, NGOs such as Majlis and Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (Cehat) are not only pushing…

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