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The reality of rape.

The Reality of Rape

There are certain things which exist in women's world alone. Men share, although the pains and pleasures of life with them but may have no vision to look into the depth of such realities. Rape is one of such phenomenon. This crime of violence, in which sexual act is used as a weapon against the victim, is an order of common social life. Women irrespective of their age, class, personal character are victimised at the same time society goes on making tall claims of defending women's dignity and chastity.

It is considered immoral to talk about write or publicly debate the subject. The social taboos are so strong that society prefers to adopt an ostrich like attitude instead of looking into the harsh reality. We are living in an atmosphere of mistrust, misunderstanding, misconception and unawareness. That is the reason why rape is hidden from friends, relatives and even family members, for the fear that they might be hostile to it.

Feelings of the raped ones remain unheard. The physical and mental torture women suffer at the time of the victimisation and thereafter are medically termed beyond the normal range of human suffering, whose effects remain whole through the life. Dr. Riffat Zaman, a female activist says "technically, one can never overcome rape, for it is not a disease which can be cured. It is a phenomenon dehumanising experience which the victim has to integrate in her life. The process of integration takes years not months. There are lots of misconceptions attached to rape. It is commonly believed that rape is an act motivated by sexual desire. Victim is blamed instead of the criminal.

Sexual desire in some cases could be just a reason but it can not be generalised to assess the motives behind the crime. Because if it is accepted then the old, handicapped, patients and Pardah observing women had never been victimised. Rape is generally pre-planned, it may be possible that victim is not always chosen beforehand. There is nothing more tragic and horrible than the plight of a woman who has not only been raped but as a consequence of it becomes pregnant as had happened in many cases. The burden of unwanted pregnancy is beyond human evaluation. The victim has to confront at various fronts, social, moral, religious, along with her physical and mental trauma. When asked a raped girl who consequently, had become pregnant about her feelings at that stage, the miserable creature replied "this is the height of my distress and helplessness. I feel like dying every moment. It was not my fault nobody is realising my plight and the cruelty inflicted upon me, instead, their attitude seem to make me believe as if I have committed a sin. Death seems to me the only option to end miseries, but look at my helplessness I can not go to it for the question of their honour and prestige comes in my way." In order to get rid of the unwanted and a forced pregnancy raped women are denied the right to abortion. There are no hospitals, clinics, or doctors to attend these wretches. The graph of rape crimes is climbing up yet the legislation of abortion stay out of the question. Any society which hosts rapists has no justification of denying this right to women.

Even if we look at the issue from a different angle, the abortion has become essentially an imperative need for working women, practically engaged in numerous economic activities. In recent years, the abortion issue has been intensified by the female activists throughout the world. Majority of the working women are of the opinion that the times are too unsettling to have more children.

"What if I come back to my work after the baby's birth and find out my work hours had been cut off in half," says a nurse. Again like any other aspect of life, it is the economic factor which is responsible for generating the tendency for abortion in married couples. Due to many obvious reasons such as the increasing unemployment, price hikes, job insecurities, many wives and even husbands don't want to have big family. Neither wife nor husband wants to take this risk, of losing their jobs by taking time out to care for a new child. This female demand has not yet been accepted or even recognised in most parts of the world, but has been considered a criminal act. It would be very interesting to note here, that abortion has long been a legal right in East Germany, available to women at no cost, it is virtually outlawed in the west. On this issue Germany is as divided as it ever was. (rape and Islamic laws). The laws under the Hudood Ordinance require the rape victim to provide proof of rape, or else be prepared for being punished for Zina. Such laws inhibit a victim from seeking justice. Zina and rape require four Muslim males as witnesses. In 1989, the Federal Shariat Court gave the decision that females can be eye-witnesses in all cases. Under the Hudood laws women can be charged for the offence of rape. Rape on a wife is not an offence and children can be convicted for Zina or rape. If consent of the victim is established then the offence from rape is converted to Zina. As the ordinance was originally promulgated, the testimony of a Muslim female was not acceptable. A minimum of two eye-witnesses were necessary for all Hudood crimes except Zina and rape which required four Muslim males as witnesses. Under the the pre-hudood legal system rape was a crime punishable for men alone and women can not be charged for offence of rape. If a child under 14 was subjected to sexual intercourse, it was presumed to be rape. Rape on wife was an offence, and if she happened to be a minor (under 12 years). The punishment was imprisonment extending to 10 years including fine. With the promulgation of Hudood laws, women can be charged for the offence of rape. Rape on wife is not an offence, and children for zina or rape. If consent of the victim is established then the offense from rape is converted to Zina. Under the old system while a woman was denied the right to complain of adultery, she could neither be punished as the women partner as the adultery. Sex between unmarried, consenting adults was not a crime. Under the Hudood Ordinance, adultery and fornication are both offences and any party, aggrieved or not can make the charges of Zina, and the complainant does not have the option of dropping the charges. Zina is punishable with a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment including 30 whips and fine. The present Hudood Ordinance specifically affecting the plight of rape victims for many reasons, for instance, the Federal Shariat Court does not keep separate records of Zina and rape and neither do the police departments, as if these two sexual crimes are not being differentiated. It is therefore, that rape victim runs the risk of being punished under Zina if she is not able to prove that the sexual act was against her consent. If a victim does not complain of rape, but gets pregnant because of it, then she is charged with Zina for her pregnancy is treated as a confession.
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Title Annotation:laws on rape and rape victims in Pakistan
Author:Jabbar, Bushra
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Words:1229
Previous Article:The Twelfth Amendment.
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