LAST year, there was a four per cent increase in cases concerning child abuse, such as kidnapping, sexual assaults, forced marriages and missing children. Multiple factors contibute to the increase in the number of such cases, but what is apparent is that the numbers represent just the tip of the iceberg. What remains unnoticed, or goes largely ignored, is the lack of empathy in these cases on the part of the policymakers.
Even though the populist rhetoric stands for harsher and gruesome punishment for the perpetrators of violence, it does not guarantee that our country will eventually become a safe place for women and children.
Although social activists and media are raising alarm bells over the misery of these victims, our state and society continue to bury their heads in the sand instead of confronting the bitter realities.
What is imperative is the need to conduct exhaustive research in the domains of societal and cultural acceptance of violence. By lending an ear to the poignant stories of these victims and survivors rather than dismissing them, we can bring about a positive change.
Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2021