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The majority of misogynistic men might come up with equations on how to point fingers at women wearing niqab or the ten year old girl wearing a yellow sundress. The truth however is mind boggling and invites in not only how the psychology of an individual committing the crime works but also what it entails. The sufferings and aftermath of the victim still remains unpredicted and untouched on in the minds of the corporate and lavish lifestyles. These are the individuals who people look up to in terms of power and how to use it righteously and for those in outrageous situations, begging for help and crying for mercy.

Where can a lone girl walk freely? Frequent rape occurrences are not only limited to confined places but spreads like wild fire to workplaces, garments, schools, neighboring houses, homes, institutes, playgrounds, slums, transportation vehicles so on and so forth. Where is the lone wolf safe? Curled up in the corner of their respective rooms? Well, one might think so but not even then. The lone wolf is eventually put to death through slow poison of despair after the heinous endurance of such abuse. Recent reports have shown alarming risks for the new lives and young minds who unknowingly fall into the traps of the pedophiles disguised as their uncles, cousins or any other elderly family member.

If we rewind back a year in time, news reports show that about 732 women were raped in 2018, out of which a staggering amount of 271 were mere young girls and children and the rest were women. Fast forward to the first three months of 2019, the digits stood at 189 women being raped. The red flags were going around and flashing since years about how these ruthless men were given way into the society. Does getting away with committing rape give way to multiplied rapes? Does the society not know how to teach and bestow sex education up on the young generations? Do these heartless men produce more of themselves every day?

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Bangladesh alone sees itself standing at 17,000 rape cases in 4 years of which 3,528 were innocent novices and 17,389 were adult women. On an average, Bangladesh goes through approximately 13 rapes per day of which maximum remains unreported due to the social stigma that it may shower upon the woman. It is rather ironic that when an individual types in, “solved rape cases in Bangladesh” in the search engine of Google, it actually shows greater results of unsolved rape cases in Bangladesh and delivers a slap in the face of the population. The desperate screams and agony of the mentally challenged girl in Madaripur, the 80 year old victim in Narayanganj, 3 year old from Bagherhat, Ayesha’s suicide, Nusrat’s disgraceful story and how she was burned alive after reporting the assault and the millions of other unreported cases which were shoved under the carpets of their houses are still dangling in thin air, threatening us and threatening the security of all the girls in Bangladesh. According to the reports of Mahila Parishad, a women’s’ rights organization, only 3-4% of culprits were punished since 2014 and such scenario was the result of nothing but negligibility and impunity.

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Comprehensive studies show that living in a country like Bangladesh serves utmost frustration for the female population, as they go through profuse body shaming remarks and taunts. One is deemed anorexic if they’re too skinny for someone else’s liking, the other is stared at for being too overweight because that individual must be eating a lot more than required, right? Have we ever thought of the mental instability and physical insecurity one could develop for such unnecessary scrutiny? Have we ever thought that maybe she’s too skinny because of eating disorder or gastric issues or better yet, top notch metabolism? Have we ever had inklings that maybe she isn’t overweight; perhaps she endures thyroid issues or has just given birth to another life?

No, because if we did, then the society would lack that spicy element of gossip, wouldn’t they? We were all brought up in a rather conservative and patriarchal society which allows us to go in depth of situations when it’s not really necessary. It gives a head start into shooting women empowerment down, tumbling and shattering all hopes of humanity through utilizing dominance and authority by the male population on the female sector. This gives a rather shallow picture of women in the shallow minds of a rapist. They stoop lower and lower at every stage of life thinking women are and always will be less than and that their sole job is to serve men in every form that they would demand, which boils down to another alarming realization that – is the society and it’s so called rules, norms and dominance, resulting in more abuse?

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On an alternate perspective, pornography is invited in to any controversial discussion regarding rape and sexual abuse. Reports show, pornography assists in many understanding and acknowledging their own and other’s sexual identity, orientation and gender identity. This doesn’t allow in positive promotional attributes of porn, however, the negativity towards porn is often solely erupted when rape is the hot topic. Many deem that porn is the vital cause of rape cases shooting in lightning bolt speed. Although, the negative determinants of porn are vast, it can never single handedly give allowance to one committing the heinous crime of rape. Coercion of any physical form does not happen in vacuum and if porn was the ultimate reason for such rise in rape numbers, why must one forget the roles that books, movies, videos or music could comprehend in such cases. Rather than putting the blame on such trivial elements that is not in the control of the commoners, it’s time to look closer into those performing the crimes – their background, mental state, upbringing, educational development, etiquette and norms. It is a core responsibility to fathom that while porn serves as entertainment, pleasure and recreational for some, a smaller subpopulation may internalize the scripts as erotic with cues of human pain or degradation which a sub group of porn may exhibit.

This also brings us to a major factor of such heart wrenching cases – the mental state of the criminal. The moral impairments of rapists could be learning disability, lack of brain development, disorders in the congenital sectors and so on. Some lack the preservation and distinguishing ability between aggressive and sexual impulses, consent and its necessities. This generates them to lose their physical control and impose forceful physical actions on the victims.

Reports show and scientists have discovered that both violent and sexual impulses originate from the same structure of the brain. The vulnerable individuals with unstable hormonal functionality are no less accused of sexual offence. Such abnormality could also be identified through records of antisocial behavior, drug abuse, violent and anger management issues, intimacy/attachment problems or others. Sexual predators’ mind work in mysterious yet, destructive ways; they succumb to thoughts such as women are sex objects, male sex drive is uncontrollable hence the overpowering dominance in most cases, entitlement of men’s needs and that women are at the lowest level of the hierarchy.

From angry to the sadist rapists, isn’t it enough to judge the mental stability of an individual if he admits or denies to the crimes he had committed? If he is in his correct state of mind and yet, dithers to acknowledge to the act, who should be held accountable? A criminal in his proper state of mind will do whatever it takes and increase the height of his stakes to prove himself innocent. What then? Will he still be labeled disabled? If not, will appropriate actions be taken? Truth is, perhaps 1 out of the 10 criminals might possess mental impairments but what legitimate actions must be taken for the rest? We all know the answer to that; however, we have failed miserably, in the eyes of the victims, the society, potential victims and the future.

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No amount of ethics scribbled onto papers will do what needs to be done to bring justice to the victims. As long as predators keep thinking that women are paper dolls willingly waiting to be crushed, it’s sorrowful to ultimately realize that this will not only end this generation and pollute the minds of next but will also suffer through further darkness that the society, legal authorities and communities are either obscuring or paying minimum heed to. The ear piercing and shrill screams of the victims will haunt their families for as long as they shall live, but it wouldn’t matter because all we have ever done was empathize and shamefully enough that’s the maximum we have ever done.

Ebana Haque

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I wonder where else can someone find peace if not within the vulnerabilities of reading. However, in all honesty I like people who don’t read like I like my tea. I don't like tea.

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