Don’t Blame the Victim

By Sabina Khan

As you see her tears falling all you can do is tap her shoulder and give her hope. “Everything will be OK” words are not enough to comfort a rape victim. Being raped is something that scars its victims for life leaving a permanent scar. Many victims refuse to acknowledge their trauma yet alone talk about it.

Why do the people of today lack in awareness? How do they stop this evil crime from repeating itself over and over again? Stop? That it never will but if we all work together and raise awareness we can stop many more girls like zainabs in this world. There are many victims who do not come forward and the world does not know about. People of today’s  society are scared about their reputation and “what will people say?”

Their reaction is actually disgusting as they make life for the victim unliveable. Victims are forced to move away and not allowed to live their life in a normal way. Life is already tough as they are fighting with their inner self in accepting what’s happened to them and having to hear rumours from others doesn’t make life easy.

Abuse has many forms which include verbal and physical. Verbal abuse can be being bullied into a corner, mind games, messing with your head that you feel that you were or are being abused and the cause of that is your own fault. You are not doing so well in life as you may not be an A grade student so the atmosphere in the house is of a negative nature and the victim finds comfort in their abuser who grooms them, tells them what they want to hear. Your so beautiful, your so perfect I think your clever I think your intelligent and let’s share a secret. The victim thinks the abuser is impressed by them and does anything to please them more. Agree to everything. They are molded to the way the abuser wants them to be.

It’s a known fact that people who are abused as a child are more likely to abuse another at an older age themselves. If someone is raped in your family do you know what steps to take? What the correct channels are that must be followed? No matter how educated or how rich you are you can’t stop this hideous crime.

It happens everywhere. Most rape victims know their culprit as 90% of the time it’s someone that they know. Most victims are mentally groomed by their culprits and made to feel uncomfortable around them. Cousins, drivers, house workers, school guards, teachers in today’s society you can’t really trust anyone.

We need to educate our children from a very young age so they have the confidence to approach their parents about any incident. You have to be your child’s best friend

Instead of oppressing your children and brushing incidents under the carpet give them the confidence to speak up. Give them your 110% back up. They should know no matter what they do or what they go through their parents are there to speak up for them and support them no matter what happens. Educate your children not to travel alone anywhere even to local shops, not to let anyone touch them at inappropriate places and the most important thing is to speak up if they are uncomfortable with a certain person or the way they behave around them speak up let their parents know.

Pakistan needs to start educating children in classes and in every household no matter which sect you belong to. Speaking the truth is a powerful tool that must be used when sticking up for yourself. For far too long victims are forced to stay quiet and are held back by the ties of culture in a male dominated society. Don’t be another zainab, don’t be oppressed as a mother, as a daughter, as a sister we must all speak up. If our families can’t help us.

If you believe someone is being abused in your family start by looking within the family as culprits are usually 90% of the time people that the victim knows or associates with. Who does your child feel uncomfortable around? Who is your child scared of?

There are many organisation that help such victims but no one knows about them. Sarim Burney is a major human rights activist who focuses on abused women and children. He provides legal aid and assistance to abused people. Many NGOs and numerous more organizations.

Let us stand united and speak up.

About Arif Qureshi

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