JHAPA, Dec 19: Theme of the recently observed Human Rights Day was centered on ensuring safe environment for women and girls at home. Discussions in various programs organized to mark the day mostly concluded that domestic violence is the most rampant form of violence that females and children have to suffer from. However, the call for ending such forms of violence, which were blown loudly on streets, in rallies and in several programs organized at hotels and other special venues, do not seem to have reached remote areas.
Worst forms of domestic violence take place very commonly in remote areas. Recent incidences of sexual abuses and murders in town and villages of Jhapa reflect that women and children across the district are victim of rampant domestic violence. According to District Police Office, cases of violence against women and children are on rise and maximum of them are cases domestic violence. Last year, 36-year-old Samanti Rajbanshi of Birtamod was killed by her husband at home.
He slew her with Khukuri. The same year, six-month-old Suraj Das was killed by his father. The father had pressed the baby's mouth with blanket. These two representative cases were extremely alarming. Apart from such gruesome murder, rape cases were rampant last year. And in most of the cases, kin of the victim were involved, police reports say. Recently, an 11-year-old girl from Mechinagar was reported to have been raped by her own uncle.
Police reports reflect that cases of domestic violence are more common in economically poor families. In such families, children, especially girls, are very easily victimized. Studies show that the lack of secured rooms and houses make the children and women of such families quite vulnerable.
In the last one year, over a dozen of the cases of sexual violence have been reported in Jhapa. The reports further state that children without parents or guardians are more vulnerable to domestic violence. "Children from poor families are easily lured by sweets, toys or similar things. Culprits lure children by making such offerings into isolated areas and sexually abuse them," said Arjun Basnet, a human right activist. "Most of the criminal cases regarding children have been linked to poverty or revenge," he added.
According to Basnet, poor children are not safe even at their own home, where they are mostly victimized by close family members and relatives. “This is a very serious issue. Children from poor families are not safe anywhere, neither outside, nor at home. Studies have shown that," he said.
According to Insec, a non government organization, 35 cases of violation of human rights were recorded during the last year. A year earlier, 64 such cases were reported. Though the number of cases has slowed down, the unpublished report states that there is no improvement in the nature of the crimes.
Basnet stated that 10 women have been murdered between January to December this year. One minor girl was raped before being murdered. Similarly, seven girls below the age of 16 were raped.
“INSEC report says that children are very much vulnerable," he stated adding that though the cases of violation of human rights went down than the previous year, nature of the violence remained grave.
Madhu Kumar Thapa, a police inspector in Birtamod, stated that the nature and number of violence against women cases have not changed much. He said that the numbers of cases vary depending on various factors. “For instance, during political unrest, natural disaster, among others, number of such abuse tend to rise," he said. Thapa said that social security condition was deeply affected post earthquake and during the economic blockade.
Thapa said that there has been increasing awareness among people to report such cases to the police. "Earlier, such cases were seldom reported. Nowadays, these are reported widely. So it is not only rise in such incidents, but also rise in awareness among people to report them," he said stating that much remains to do for raising awareness among people about domestic violence, laws related to it and legal provisions that safeguard victims in such cases.
Police reports reflect that cases of domestic violence are more common in economically poor families. In such families, children, especially girls, are very easily victimized.