One of the most important topics that needs to be addressed in our country: Child Sexual Abuse/Pedophilia...
Its rampant... its disgusting and its everywhere in our country. Do I have any proof that it happens more in Pakistan than anywhere else? No, i do not. There are no concrete studies or accurate statistics because of the nature of this topic. Its taboo, its related to sexuality and we sure as hell ain't gonna be discussing it as a nation.
So we do what we do best, denial.
Children are afraid to speak up and parents that know it happened are afraid to say anything for the fear of dishonouring their families.
I can't prove it, but I'm pretty certain that with the lack of consequences pedophiles face in our country, they're a lot more comfortable letting their twisted desires off the leash....than say... in the west. Thats not to say it doesn't occur there, but people still have a fear of what would happen if they got caught.
Legislation against these things is a major element missing from Pakistan. In this sense we're practically still in the stone age. See for yourself, @UroojZia was kind enough to pass along some information she's uncovered;
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HaaN ji, this is what the director of War Against Rape told me re pedophilia laws and case-handling:
a) They are, amongst other clauses, dealt with under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The ATA doesn't mention 'pedophilia' or synonyms by name, but it defines punishment for sex with a minor.
b) If the survivor is a girl, cases are also tried under usual Zina laws.
c) If the survivor is a boy, clauses for 'unnatural lust' are used (same ones that are used to prosecute LGBT people);
d) If this isn't bad enough, here's the real kicker: rape is defined as penile penetration only. An insane number of cases don't involve penile penetration; they involve groping, or other means of penetration (digital, often even glass bottles; horrifying, but true). These cases just cannot be prosecuted because there is no law here against rape sans penile penetration.
Most reported cases of child sexual abuse involve incest in some form (including fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, and so on). In this, a major problem is the absence of sociologal support structures for mothers of survivors, especially if the abuser is the children's father (her husband) or some other close patriarchal figure. There are recorded cases of women genuinely breaking down and saying that they knew what their husbands were doing, but what could they do, they couldn't leave with their children, where would they go, how would they live, etc. And then we have a stellar Lahore High Court judgment from the late 90s or early 2000s (incest; girl abused by brother and impregnated), where the ruling was roughly along these lines: It is impossible for a brother to do this to his sister; the girl must have had sex elsewhere and gotten pregnant, and should, as such, be prosecuted for zina.
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Ok, seriously? DisFUCKINGgusting ..I'm in disbelief here.... its actually worse than I expected. And I had very low expectations to begin with. Its moments like these where I'm so ashamed to belong to this country we call 'Pak' istan. Not only do we not have laws to prosecute pedophiles, but we barely have a law to prosecute rape... and nothing for sexual assault really... I wont even get into the homophobia involved here, because that would be another post in itself. And this case that's mentioned at the end.... where the survivor got prosecuted for being raped by her brother instead of the other way round.... oh. my. god.
I need to walk away now. You can read what my female interviewees have to say about the subject. And I'll see you next time, hopefully I will have recovered from the sickness I'm feeling in the core of my soul.
Do you think we have a problem in this country with sexual predators and pedophiles, and to what extent in comparison with the rest of the world?
Ayesha, Female, 28
I can’t speak for other countries, but sexual harassment is an incredible problem in
Layla, Female, 19
I know they exist everywhere in the world, but I have no clue about the stats in my country. But I know women are raped every day, and we don’t even know it because they are either killed, or too scared or embarrassed to come fwd esp with our crappy system of needing 3 or 4 witnesses. And there is an obvious shortage of women in our country, and an abundance of horny, illiterate man, so u can pretty much do the math.
Ambreen, Female, 28
i think we do, and everywhere else does as well ... its just easier to get away with it back home. Its one of those things that are just so taboo people don’t talk about it .. or they don’t really know.... because u don’t know as a child what is proper and what is not ... if its someone in the position of authority.... u dont really know if its wrong.... for eg.... if they see the parents having sex... then the siblings might do it .... they won’t know it’s wrong.... my cousin who’s a doctor told me she used to see a lot of uncles making their nieces pregnant.... but they weren’t ostracized.... it almost seemed accepted, in general. I don’t know if we have it going on to a greater extent..... but we just don’t find out about it as much.... here (Canada) u can take people to court, there are newspapers, the media will report it and make a big deal - but in Pakistan its taboo to even speak up about it ...
Mariam, Female, 26
I think its ridiculous.. the level of problems we have with something like this. I don’t think a single girlfriend of mine and I would say 50% of my male friends have at some point in their lives experienced some kind of molestation…sexual advances… be it from a family member… be it from a domestic servant….somebody completely random… or someone in the workplace… and that’s a very high percentage…and that percentage is disgusting. I’m scared to bring up my children in this country….because its just terrifying.. I don’t know what to do… I don’t know what anybody can do about it…
We do have a problem …. There were teachers in my school that got fired for doing just that. There are servants…. If not those then the “Molwi’s” – they come with their Qura’ans …. You would never think that your Molwi would do that now would you? So you trust him with your kids….we’re all fucking nymphos at some point in our lives because of what happened in our childhood – its our way of dealing with the world. I remember my mum brought in a kid from the village only to bring her up, give her exposure…and that is the one (because the Molwi thought she’d never open her mouth and because he thought ‘she’s not their own child’) he would molest…he ripped the shit out of her clothes, he traumatized the kid to no end…right after which we got exposed to even more sex because this now turning 13 year old child was fucking the nation's servants – the entire fucking area was covered by this one girl who had become so crazy in that little time, she was barely developing and had barely started getting breasts – yet she was fucking the nation. I will never forget because it scared the shit out of me – there was this funny looking plant shaped like a ….in front of us, in the garden – she jumps on it and starts doing the plant!!! We were just oh my god – yeah she looked like she was having fun but we were really scared and didn’t know what she was doing. Then there’s this one girl from the hijabi lot, she’s a nymphomaniac…this is all the result of their experiences with being abused...
people don’t report such predators because no one believes you when you come out with it – my own family didn’t believe me! It sucks because you don’t know who to talk to and who to trust. A lot of people doing this shit have a lot of money – then they’re above the law… you can’t turn to the law. And because they’re above the law there’s nothing you can do about it you just silence yourself. If sex weren’t such a taboo topic – yeah sure people would report it a whole lot more. We have a couple of NGO’s that function and we’ve got counselors and safe houses… but those are the only people you can turn to. But until you don’t make sex an ok thing and it gets off the taboo list – yes – you’re gonna have the problems of keeping it to yourself and not reporting it. When you think its your fault in the first place…’I must have done something wrong for that person to have done that to me…’ when you think like that you’re not going to report it or tell anyone because its so taboo within your own household – if you turn around and tell your mother you got raped (and especially in the lower classes) you will definitely be blamed for it.
Sumeira, Female, 25
Yes we have a problem in this country with that – servants in the house. If I have kids, I know I would not leave them with servants. Nothings happened to me but I know what people are like. You can tell by the way servants look at you or look at anyone. You can’t trust anyone – especially in a country where sex is taboo and people are so suppressed and they’re dying to come out…if you’re not suppressed and everyone’s open about it…there’s less sex offenders…less pedophiles. It’s because our society is so closed that shit like this happens. Everyone’s fucking frustrated.
Zobia, Female, 22
I’m pretty sure we do have a problem with sexual predators and pedophiles. I think that because sex is made to be so taboo, people are dying to have sex with whoever ASAP. Again sexual education could seriously help in this aspect as well, creating a more open environment, where people wouldn’t feel so restricted. In comparison to the rest of the world, I don’t know if it’s a bigger or smaller problem in
Saira, Female, 22
Its not talked about as much ..... but it exists ... it exists everywhere.... but because we dont talk about it in Pakistan.... it exists more so ... we know its not going to be made public and its under the covers... i think its more of a problem within families moreso in Pakistan like uncles, distant relatives... family friends... not like random people here in canada....like priests and stuff... i think its more in families in pakistan because these are the children that are more accessible.... here we take public transport.... commuity centres... a lot of child adult interaction exists... but there not so much and the parents trust their relatives and friends with their kids... so thats where the problem lies.
Rabia Female, 23
Yes. Of course we do. A huge one. One that the ‘media’ channels will not cover. One that will get ignored because it is a taboo topic to discuss, especially on national television. However, as far as comparing it to the rest of the world is concerned, I really don’t know where Pakistan as a nation stands in terms of severity of the issue.
Farah, Female, 29
Definitely. I don’t know about what it is like in comparison to the rest of the world, but from a simple poll of family and friends in Karachi, I would say a large majority of women (and some men too) have been molested sexually. Many of these were perpetrated by maulvi sahibs (religious teachers) and servants.
Sam, Female, 28
I think theres a huge huge problem. I think the problem is far larger than people are willing to believe. They prefer to not talk abt it and they like to believe things like this don't happen in the our 'islamic' republic. the truth is pakistani society is depraved! The problem is aggravated because the onus of protecting yourself is usually placed on the victim (if its a woman). After all Islam places the responsibility to cover up on woman.