By Pratima Sapkota
The word ‘rape’ is a terrifying word in itself. Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. Nepal’s law also defines rape as having sex with any girl child under the age of 18 with or without their consent and also forcing physical contact against one’s will.
If you go through history of the world, you will find that sexual assault has existed since time immemorial. Historically, more women than men have been involved in domestic violence and sexual offenses.
At present, the situation of sexual misconduct (rape) in Nepali society has become so dire that it is emerging as a major challenge for the society. Incidents of rape have come out from young girls to old women, even midwives. Even now, such incidents of rape have come out that the culprits are not strangers but their own neighbours, relatives or even members of the same family.
If we look into the data from different parts of the country now, it is seen that around 6-7 women are raped daily, some of them are even murdered. But very few of such incidents are reported or taken to the court.
If this figure is only the number of incidents registered, then about 70 to 80 per cent of such incidents are not come to exposure due to various social conditions and fear of exclusion or if the fear of losing one’s dignity is not made public. Even though some of them have become public, there are reports of them being reconciled within the society.
Some of the important factors behind the increase in rape cases in Nepal is the indecent dress and loose culture.
The way we dress, the language we speak, the various sexually explicit material broadcast on television and other media in the name of fashion and entertainment that promotes lewd culture.
Among other things, there are some misconceptions about women as toys and tools of entertainment or just a means to quench their sexual thirst. Lately, when men go abroad for foreign employment and only women stay at home, there are cases of people taking advantage of the situation and indulging in sexual assault under various pretexts.
Lately, the incidents of rape and murder have been a big challenge for the society. Even in that, girls seem to be more victims than young people.
Incidents of rape and murder of girls under various pretexts and killing them for fear of exposing them are often heard in the recent time. This has created a great fear in the society about the attitude towards daughters and girls.
Nirmala Pant, a girl from Kancharpur, was also killed after being raped. Despite the efforts of political parties, the truth of the incident could not be disclosed. An 18 months year old girl was killed after being raped in Morang’s Sundaraharaicha Municipality-7 recently. Police have arrested two persons on charge of murder after rape. When no one was at home, they carried her from home to the bush and raped her. They had fled after making sexual assault and thrown in the bush. So now a days girls are neither safe inside the home or outside. The most important thing is the law. The law exists but has failed to punish most of the culprits. Therefore, all of us citizens should be aware of this fact. Our daughter is our jewel. Let’s protect her from being attacked or exploited, which is the most important duty of all of us.