Women in our society are not safe at all and the most vulnerable ones tend to be children or from religious minorities. The rape of a 13-year-old Hindu girl is definitive evidence in favour of the argument made before. The cases of sexual violence against women in the holy month of Ramadan testify our moral collapse.

Recent cases of rape show that sexual violence is an on-going problem in Pakistan. The cases that have been reported in the media are just the tip of the iceberg. The issue of sexual violence is deep-rooted than the imagination of anyone. Rape is still an everyday occurrence in Pakistan as the recent case in Tando Muhammad Khan, where two men gang-raped a girl after she was intoxicated, suggests.

According to Sahil’s report for 2018, over ten children were abused every day in Pakistan in 2018. Even a conservative estimate would make four thousand cases of child abuse in 2018. What is mind-boggling is that the government’s attitude in this regard is not even lukewarm. The legislative also does not know how to control the growing abuse of minors. Though the Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan wants to curb the issue of child abuse by introducing the death penalty for rape of minors, research studies show that the death penalty rarely, if ever, serves the purpose of deterrence.

Moreover, if we look at the pattern of public outrage against rape, we come to know that the uproar is only caused if the victim is a Muslim child, to put it bluntly. The silence of the public over the rape of 13-year-old Hindu girl brutally exposes our double standards. The rape of an adult further exposes the double standards of the Pakistani public. Many, being misogynists, reject an adult rape victim while trying to know about her dress, people she is accompanied by, the places she goes to; others choose to mind their own business.

As if people’s insensitivity over the matter is not enough, the state also ignores the gravity of the problem. For instance, police think of rape survivors as women not having the ‘right demeanour’ as the case of Farishta tells us where the police officials said to her father that she might have eloped with someone. Institutional hurdles like these in investigation and prosecution prove major obstacles in the way of justice being served. It is high time that the government divert its attention towards the growing menace of rape.