Rape is a heinous crime. Every year, hundreds of incidents of sexual violence like rape are recorded all over Nepal. According to the data of Nepal Police, five rape cases are filed everyday in average across the country. As many as 1,644 cases of rape were filed in last fiscal year. In the first month of this fiscal, alone, 193 rape cases were filed across the country. This proves that females of our society are highly unsafe.
Several social activists are seen working to prevent violence against women in the country. Social activist, Founder and Chairperson of NGO Rakshya Nepal, Menuka Thapa said, “Though there has been abundant efforts from the government and NGOs to raise awareness about women’s rights, I feel the lack of proper law and lack of implementation of existing laws are the main causes for increasing cases of violence against women in the country.”
She added, “I believe that people who rape children, differently able people, and senior citizens should be hanged till death.” Social media users globally have been supporting women and condemning sexual violence against women through the #metoo and #rageagainstrape online campaigns. Here, a few people have shared their views on how violence against women can be prevented.
Susajit Thapa (23), Salesperson
Though I am not much aware about the rape cases in Nepal, I feel the lack of sex education is the main reason behind increasing rape cases in the country. Our social structure and people’s weak mindset are supporting such crimes. So, in order to remove such incidents we must first change our traditional mindset. Similarly, I believe women empowerment will contribute a lot. Women in the rural areas are mostly suffering from domestic as well as sexual violence, including marital rape, but they are scared to talk about it due to social stigma. There should be facilities to reestablish rape victims and help them get back to the society. It is a cheap escape to connect short clothes with inviting rape and refusing to marry a rape victim. If the society stands firm with the victims, I believe it would help them immensely to forget their trauma.
Asmit Thapa (23), Student
I think lack of proper law, education and awareness are the main reasons for increase in rape cases in Nepal. Family and society are the greatest strength for any individual as I have noticed some rape victims living a normal and empowered life with their family’s support. Empowered women will not fall for false word and can defend themselves from frauds, so girls should be educated. Similarly mass media can also spread awareness about violence against women. Social media is another platform to spread awareness as lots of people have access to internet, especially youths. Moreover, girls are discriminated against boys in our society and this gradually contributes to the development of a patriarchal mindset. If I found out that my girlfriend or fiancée was a rape victim, I will support her and try to understand her trauma. I believe that the victims should not be targeted because it is not their fault that they got abused.
Ruma Shrestha (32), Homemaker
Obviously, our mindset and social structure is promoting rape cases in Nepal. Awareness is a must to minimize such incidents, especially in rural areas where women are still ignored during decision making. It is important to understand that the rape victims have gone through mental as well as physical trauma and they need support to recover. Such victims are prone to committing suicide out of humiliation from the society. I believe rapist should be hanged without any excuse because it will discourage other criminals. Social media campaigns might not be effective in rural areas because they rarely have access to internet, hence men and women should work hand-in-hand to raise awareness about violence against women in the local level. If there are any rape victims in our society, we shouldn’t discriminate against them as it may happen to anyone, even our family member.
Sabitri Khatiwada (32), Homemaker
Lack of proper punishment, awareness, and education are the main reason for increasing rape cases in Nepal. I think moral lesson, discipline and sex education should be given to the children from school level to educate citizens from the grass-root level. Though a large number of women have been victims of rape, such cases are still neglected legally as well as in the society. The government and concerned bodies should put more effort in spreading awareness about women’s rights, especially in rural areas where majority of the population is uneducated. Mass media could help a lot in spreading awareness. I believe that the tendency of trying to reconcile the victims and rapists should be highly discouraged. We have different social taboos and stigma related to rape, which directly or indirectly support the criminals like sending boys to school and restricting girls from the same facilities, refusing to marry rape victims and relating rape with girls wearing revealing clothes.