Earlier this week, there were two harrowing accounts of sexual violence against children. One was the eight year old daughter of a labourer in Okara who was accosted and raped by the son of a landlord. The other was a six year old Hazara girl in Quetta, brutally murdered after repeated attempts at raping her. There are countless such stories that make the news every week, and scores more that never do. According to one study carried out by the Human Rights Watch, there is a rape in Pakistan once every two hours. But these are all reasonable estimates at best. In a country that still deals with the issue of rape with healthy doses of taboo, where parents in rural belts often marry off their daughters to their rapists to avoid “dishonor” and “shame,” the fact that rape makes the news at all is perhaps a sign that the sexual violence narrative might be heading in the right direction (albet, very slowly). With rising awareness, a louder and free-er media as well as greater child advocacy, rape is slowly becoming more talked about. However, it is believed that less than 10% of accused rapists are ever actually convicted. In the last year, many rape victims have taken to protesting outside press clubs and courts personally, and this is an enormous show of boldness for justice that they will in all likelihood never receive. A notable child rape victim, Kainat Soomro, was 13 years old and gang raped for days in 2007. After taking her rapists to court (all of whom still remain at large), her brother was murdered for supporting her, and the court ruled that “The sole testimony of the alleged rape survivor is not sufficient.” Seeing that DNA has been disallowed by the Council of Islamic Ideology as the main evidence in rape, the system largely relies on the testimony of four males even now. This is not a system of justice, it is barbarism. Sexual violence is the most evil manifestation of power and personal corruption, and communities must form strong alliances against it. Aggressors have to be pursued. There is only shame in letting them go. Optimistically, we could search for positives owing to the slightly better reportage of rape cases, but by and large, the police is inept or complicit, the parents of victims too terrified of cultural convention to press charges, and the aggressors, as in the case of the Okara landlord, too powerful to ever bring to justice.