The Pakistani media’s gradual outreach and scrutiny over the years has prompted some of us to openly discuss rape as a prominent social concern for the nation. The perpetuation of rape culture is rooted in Pakistan and cannot be overlooked that easily. I have chosen to talk about the Kuri Shehar, Islamabad rape case of 2015 that took place in my neighborhood and received no media coverage whatsoever. The primary reason why I have decided to shed light on such an important subject matter is in view of another crucial factor associated with rape; the role of an accomplice(s). Who is an accomplice, you ask? In the context of rape, an accomplice is someone who encourages or helps the rapist achieve his desired goal without being a part of the act. An example of this would be someone who waits outside the room while the perpetrator rapes the victim.

While the perpetrators of rape are rightfully punished for their wrongdoings, the accomplices responsible for encouraging the crime get away with everything and are barely held accountable for their actions. This problem should be dealt with instantaneously as it motivates the accomplice to repeat the same behavior again. That is primarily why the culture of rape has become an epidemic, especially in countries such as India and Pakistan.

In July, 2015 a man in his mid-20s, along with his peers escorted a young girl to a deserted area and sexually molested her. In this particular case, the accomplice was the mother of one of the rapists who waited outside the room for her son. When asked to move away by one of the women, she refused. “I don’t want my son to fly off the handle. He means everything to me.” she said. The mother was clearly helpless. She tried to figure a way out in hopes of helping the victim but resisted. The rapists dispersed upon hearing the siren of a police car and left everything as it was. The boy in his mid-20s pushed his mother on the side as he ran for his life. The young man ended up breaking his leg after jumping off of a water tank.

I happened to interview the mother of the rapist and asked her why she allowed her son to commit such an abhorrent act of violence. She could not answer the question properly. Apparently, she did everything for her son. Perhaps the mother was physically abused by her son every now and then and did not want him to flip out.

Whatever the situation is, one cannot simply coax others into not doing something they want to do. The culture of rape is downright objectionable and cannot be evaded in a matter of years unless or until education is prioritized in rural areas of Pakistan. It is incredibly important to provide basic education to underprivileged girls, especially boys. Moreover, apprehending rapists will not end the problem. The accomplices should be sanctioned and held accountable for their actions. In this particular rape case, the mother should have been questioned and punished for helping her son do something she did not like in the first place. She could have saved the girl’s life but refused to do so. The culture of rape is not merely constrained to these two factors alone. A few other concerns including law force corruption and influence of marital rape on children should also be taken into consideration for a safer and brighter future for Pakistan.