Suicide rate getting higher in Pakistan in rape victims

Suicide rate is getting higher in Pakistan in rape victims

In Pakistan, most of the children, young girls and women were killed by the rapists after raping them and those who were left alive committed suicide

By Fizza Liaqat (Riphah International University)

Pak Chronicle Report


Nowadays, why young generation commits suicide? Suicide is an impulsive decision while in teens and young adults and it is mostly seen as a solution to hard life’s problems.

It is triggered by stress, loss of anything, financial issues, pressures to succeed and rape. It is estimated that around 20% of global suicides are committed by consuming pesticide as a tool for self-poisoning.

Most of as such cases occur in rural agricultural areas in low- and middle-income countries. Other common methods of suicide are hanging and firearms.

Rape is a horrible crime and it effects the victims for the rest of their lives. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are common conditions among rape victims.

Numerous rape victims have suicidal thoughts. Many of these victims die by suicide.

In Pakistan, most of the children, young girls and women were killed by the rapists after raping them and those who were left alive committed suicide. Pakistan is among those countries where 70% women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime by their intimate partners and 93% of women experience some form of sexual violence in public places in their lifetime. In Sindh, 586 females committed suicide due to rape across the province over the last five years.

Punjab is experiencing high percentage of rape incidents in the country and out of these cases four to six percent cases were that of gang-rape.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) an incident of rape occurs after every two hours and an innocent victim is gang-raped in every four to eight days.

Pakistani activists estimate that there are about 1,000 “honour” suicide cases every year.

In Sindh at Tharparkar district, a 17-year old girl who belonged to a Hindu family, took her own life by jumping into a deep open well in village Dalan-Jo-Tarr near Chelhar town after being raped by the three men in mid- July in 2019. Villagers retrieved the body and shifted it to Mithi Civil Hospital for postmortem.  The victim’s father and other relatives told media persons that the girl committed suicide after she was blackmailed and harassed by influential suspects who had raped her. Chelhar police registered a first information report (FIR) into the case. The suspects had not only taken turns to rape the girl but allegedly also filmed the ordeal after taking her to a house. According to then Tharparkar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Abdullah Ahmedyar, the initial medical reports had confirmed that the girl was sexually assaulted.

In Bahawalpur 18- year old girl committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her house in the village after police delayed taking action against the suspect.

Why girls are raped? Why they blackmail and harass only girls? Why always girls commit suicide after rape? Is suicide the only option after rape?

Women lure these rapists by the way as they dress themselves and behave, women are raped only by strangers, women could avoid being raped if they really want to, rapists are crazy or psychotic (‘animals’ is a word that is often used).

None of the above are generically true even if there may be some truth in some rare individual cases.  When we are harassed, raped, abused, cheated, beaten or bullied, it must always be our fault because the question that is asked in each of those instances is whether they deserve such treatment? No one deserves such treatment in any scenario. The trauma of sexual assault, rape survivors have to deal with immense societal backlash that often begins with their immediate families and extend to their communities. They routinely face harassment when they try to report rape case. Furthermore, the conviction rate for rapists in Pakistan, is barely 2% and this only pertains to cases that are reported which are a fraction of those that occur.

Here, the fact remains that something is not seen as a crime until, it is treated as a crime and that can only happen when it is routinely punished.   Before going into the depth of the justice system in Pakistan, the idea of rape was blended with adultery and fornication in the time of Zia-ul-Haq, the then-president and dictator of Pakistan in the decade of the 1980s. Under the Zina Ordinance (one of the six parts of Hudood Ordinance), rape, adultery and fornication were fused to have a single meaning. The law was amended in 2006 by giving a separate definition to rape as it is today. But the former had already exploited the women’s right to freedom, choice and consent and the effects of it still exist even to this day. Thus, rape was seen as women’s fault more than men’s desire. Therefore, solution to the problem of rape is simple: implement a dress code for women, ban the promiscuous display of women’s bodies, promote social marriages and encourage polygamy. This is something very intriguing. In the time when women’s participation is needed in the worldly development and progress of nations, laws and articles such as these will only bring turmoil, exploitation of women’s rights and injustice. So, the prevailing culture of rape has never been the centre of discussion in Pakistan leading to inefficient laws and policies.

It has also happened that the discussion, if there was any, lost its importance and consistency within two to three days after happening of an incident. After a few days, the debate in media and conferences again fades away until another shocking incident grabs the attention of the public causing fear and trauma. Prime Minister Imran Khan said; rapists should be handed down the most severe punishments to curb rising sexual violence, such as either hanging them publicly or chemically castrating them.






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