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Rape of women: A continual social malevolence waiting for action

Nasir Khan
According to Lewis S Collier. I and Hietkemper. M (1996), “Rape may be defined as any nonconsensual sexual act. The number of rapes, particularly against women, is increasing at an alarming rate” (p.1600).

There are physical affects of rape on women which include physical injuries such as fractures, laceration, risk for pregnancy and also risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Lewis. Set. al (1996) stated, “In general, the more serious injuries involve extra genital areas, such as the face, neck, and extremities, and often occurs after rape.
Fractures, subdural hematomas, cerebral contusions, and intraabdominal have resulted in the need for hospitalization” (p.1600)

Hansson. D (1992) writes, “Different kinds of traumas can produce different reactions. Take rape for example: Rape is not just unwanted sex, it is a highly traumatic experience and like other serious traumas, it has negative effects on those who survive it. Rape is usually experienced as life threatening and as an extreme violation of a person.” Because of rape sexual intercourse results in pregnancy which further leads to physical health depends on women age and health. Post rape phase also affects women’s emotional health which cause shock, fear and anger, and sleep deprivation. Jaff. J and Segal. J ( 2) writes,

“The women’s movement in the sixties broadened the definition of emotional trauma to include physically and sexually abused women and children” Rape affects women in their psychological health which leads to different psychological disorders. They may express those effects which result after rape.

The immediate responses also vary from individuals to individuals. The rape trauma also leads to sleep deprivation in victims. About Pakistani women as some were reported to be as victims but the physical effects are same as in any other region.

Rape affects greatly the societal life of women in Pakistani society. As already, the dominant men on one hand involved in rape, others isolate women after rape as only because of social stigma. A societal effect results from rape includes changes in family makeup like divorcé, altered role relationships and laxity. Women who were considered as nobility and any one in any relation was in vigilance to her, now changed in contrast after rape.
Because of rape they are stigmatized by societies which further push them under distorted, ruthless and self guilt lives.

Most men after rape divorce their wives or if women are not married and being raped by some one, they are considered as evil doers. After rape they are not considered as good feature women who lead to their social seclusion.

It is usually considered that in Pakhtoon residence areas, there are incidences of rape but purely due to strict rules adapted by their male dominant society it is impossible for any one to be aware of. I think Pakhtoon families are the one who have given great respect and honor to their women, as according to Islamic laws they are being there in homes and when ever they go out only allowed with veil.

A very common misconception that others feel about Pakhtoons is that they are against NGOs workers, but the fact is that due to new and modern ways of life as introduced by NGOs workers it is not acceptable for any of Pakhtoon families.

Not wearing a veil or wearing just dupatta with half sleeved clothes or western modern type clothes, talking on assumptions and against realities make NGOs workers vulnerable for conflicts with dignified and splendid old Pakhtoon culture. On other hand the new ways of life as many NGOs have been tailored, prone them high risk for rape incidence.

That may be due to vindictive and revengeful act, or any other but it would be called as rape in any language. In fact in Pakhtoon culture, they are co-operative in working with any NGOs or any other organization but they don’t want any interruption in their traditional ways of life and that’s why they even reject the NGOs workers as those workers are performing the role models for modern and western ways of life. I think if NGOs modify their role modeling according to their assigned area and community, it would certainly help them in working for social welfare. It would not only allow them to assess the specific cultures like Pakhtoon but would also enable them to see the realities about which every one speculates.

Different rape cases have been reported in the media and government has taken quick actions against abusers. The measures taken by any Pakistani government were always two dimensional; first social, financial and legal support for victims and secondly, punishment for evil-doers.
If there would be visible objectives with specified time and assigned administration, the incidence rates of rape would be definitely decreased. I think mass media; public health centre, police department, different social organizations and NGOs can be called for help in developing solid department on gross root level against any violence like rape.

There should be public awareness programs having discussions, talks about women rights, their role in any social make up in light of Islamic literatures.

This objective can be achieved by using national TV, radio or newspapers. All members of health care team like; doctors and nurses; members from social organizations, religious leaders, authorized persons from security departments like police, law makers and most important members from local bodies can be invited for sharing thoughts.

But first we need to specify a permanent administrative body for achieving clear objectives like securing the rights of women. There are different NGOs working for those victims and they have done good job in providing justice for sufferers of rape. The government only needs to invite and share the objectives with those organizations which would certainly make difference.

Apart from that special courts can be reserved for hearings of rape cases. In context of public health awareness I would talk about lady health workers (LHW), lady health visiters (LHV), community health nurses (CHN) and school teachers; who can put the public minds on starting line.

All of them can educate both male and female in any rural or urban area about violation of rights of any one in Pakistani society. The most thought-provoking step was taken by Mukhtar Mai as she gave preference in staying in Pakistan. She has developed an organization solely working for rape victims. She has made a website which enables all those communities living in upper class to see the whole project. Any one can visit www.mukhtarmai.com and see the real stories which our minds can only think. The Mukhtar Mai Girls’ School in Meerwala (residential town of Mukhtar Mai) was on track with the $8,000 that was donated by the Pakistan government as reparation.

The government also needs to allocate funds and usenational media; national TV or radio in order to bring awareness in public minds of this social evil.

Source: Frontier Post

Date:9/9/2005

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