When a fresh, horrific case of rape hits headlines, it throws into bold relief the perils and vulnerabilities of being a woman. While countless cases of this appalling crime are reported as commonplace happenings, relegated to inside pages of a newspaper and quickly forgotten, some tend to ignite a firestorm of protest and convulse a nation. Remember the December 16, 2012 rape of a student in New Delhi which went on to become a defining story of India that year? The rape was perpetrated in a moving bus with the cries of the victim being drowned out in the din of traffic. A terrible crime of similar nature happened in our own backyard Mansehra, on May 12 in a moving car with loud music and tinted glasses covering up the ghastly act. The victim, conned by none other than her own friend, was dragged into the vehicle and subjected to gang assault. One of the rapists is said to be a seminary teacher. Unlike many cases where victims choose to stay silent and bear the trauma mutely, this girl has taken a vow not to let her tormentors go scot-free. The 17-year-old spoke to reporters over the phone from an undisclosed location on May 14 and threatened to commit suicide if the perpetrators are not brought to justice. She vowed to continue her struggle till she ‘sees the culprits hanged’. The suspects have been rounded up and it’s up to the judicial system to put them through the due process of law and pronounce judgment.
The crime of rape is not new to our society, nor can one realistically hope to stamp it out altogether. But the encouraging aspect is that more and more victims are stepping forward to report the offence and ramping up pressure on the beasts in men’s clothing to desist from their horrific acts. This particular case provides one important lesson: Do not trust your friends blindly, or you could be putting yourselves in harm’s way. As this Mansehra victim learnt the hard way, they could end up ruining your life.