‘Media must help the raped to raise voice’ | Pakistan Today

‘Media must help the raped to raise voice’

LAHORE: War Against Rape (WAR) Lahore, lawyers and journalists held a discourse, at WAR’s office in Lahore on Tuesday, aiming at bringing about recommendations to tackle the issue of rape.
The issue of rape was not limited to women and girls only as boys had also been targets in many cases. Therefore one of the matters discussed was that laws against incest were not broad enough and did not protect children to the extent that they should, Sidra Humayun spoke on behalf of WAR. Recommendations given by the three parties, involved both long term and short to middle term solutions.
For instance, it was agreed that a type of task force should be set up for victims especially in rural areas, so that victims could lodge their complaints without fear or apprehension. Most importantly, medical evidence should never be washed away without medico-legal examination and this piece of information should be disseminated in localities where education levels were low.
A proposal was also made to include sex education as a course in school syllabi, also highlighting the signs of abuse so that the child should know what it is, rather than being confused. In many cases, girls especially are raped by their relatives including fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins or other relatives.
Media content also played a pivotal role in this regard. It was also suggested that television dramas, and other soft programmes, should begin to ingrain newer ideas in the minds of the public and change the perception of rape, incest and social taboos. Meanwhile the entire discussion hinged upon one agreement.
Four groups should be targeted in training and sensitization of the issue of sexual abuse, including lawyers, police (both men and women), women medico-legal officers, and the legislature. The extent to their desensitization of such issues usually leads to improper medical examination, assumption of that a case is fake, pending cases in courts, and lack of support by the government officials in their respective districts.
Lady health workers (LHWs) should also be given to spread the message in rural areas especially. Also, it was highlighted that laws should be amended so that protection by the judicial system was possible. The Domestic Violence Bill did not, for instance, cover workers and servants as a threat of sexual abuse.
Present at the seminar were Shamsa Ali, Advocate Supreme Court (SC), Hina Hafeezullah Ishaq, Advocate High Court (HC), Sabiha Ali Chughtai, Advocate HC, Nadeem Fazil Ayaz, Advocate HC, Shamim Malik, Advocate SC, Misbah Kaukab, Parliamentarian, and Ahmer Majeed and Miqdad Naqvi from Sanjog (legal aid). Sidra Humayun spoke on behalf of WAR Lahore, while journalists from Express Tribune and The News on Sunday, Lahore were also present.



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