Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sexual Assualts against women

The international community has expressed outrage as the punishment of a rape victim, yes I said the punishment of a rape victim, was increased from 90 lashes to 200 lashes by the all superior court of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The court imposed the Sharia law unto the "Qatif girl", a Shiite Muslim in a predominantly Sunni Muslim country. 

The incident dates back to 2006 when the then 19 year old girl, who was to be engaged, was found in a car with a young man as she was attempting to retrieve a picture of herself from him. She was guilty of being in public without the escort of a male family member. She and the young man were sexually assaulted by seven men. The male victim was also sentenced to 90 lashes. The sexual perpetrators were also given various sentences the greatest being 5 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

The "Qatif girl's" sentence was increased to 2,000 lashes due to her lawyer, Abdul Rahman, known as a human right's activist, taking this case public.  This has raised the concern of various human rights organization's globally.

In Pakistan, the chaos of suicide bombings, devastating earthquakes and car bombings has set the stage for opportunistic sexual predators to unleash attacks on  girls as young as four and five years old.

The recent outcry in Pakistan started with a brutal rape of a 5 year old girl that had been abducted from a poor section of Lahore. She was brutally raped multiple times and her body was then thrown outside the Sir Ganga Ram hospital. She was in critical condition and had two surgeries as her life hung in the balances. The last report stated she was stable but still in intensive care.

Her family, devastated and outraged, took to the streets in protest. Social media also picked up the cause. This came as a surprise to Zohra Yousef, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan who stated, “It is disturbing, but the rape of minors is not uncommon,”.  Sexual assault of women and minors in particular is widespread with an estimated 450 cases of minors being raped in Punjab Province in 2012. It is believed that this number is quite low as the victims do not report due to the stigma attached to the incident. These women are then in danger of honor killings by their family or the local tribal jirgas.

The justice system for rape victims is almost non-existent in Pakistan with only 3-4% of convictions reported. Until 2006 the burden of proof was on the rape victim who was to bring 4 male witnesses of the incident forward to prove her case. This is the a requirement of Islamic law. In 2006 these cases were removed from the Islamic courts and moved to the criminal courts. The police are poorly trained and the jirga, local councils and tribal elders will often pick up where the courts left off. In 2012 it is reported some 900 women were killed in honor killings in Pakistan.

Sept 12th a 5-year old girl was brutally raped multiple times, beaten and left for dead in Lahore.
Sept 14th an 8-year old girl was brutally raped is in critical condition in Kanjwani area of Faisalabad
Sept 15th a first year student brutally raped by 3 men from  Toba Tek Singh left in a graveyard
Sept 25th 13-14 year old school girl reported missing - her body found Sep 26th she was sodomized
Sept 26th 14 & 15 year old girls bodies were recovered in Gujranwala, they had been raped and shot 
Sept 26th a 4-year old girl was raped in a field in Gujranwala
Toba Tek Singh in critical condition
Kanjwani area of Faisalabad
Kanjwani area of Faisalabad
Kanjwani area of Faisalabad
Sept 27th a 7-year old girl was raped while walking home from tuition in Kotri, Jamshoro
Sept 28th a 6-year old girl was raped in the  Orangi Town area of Karachi

These assaults go on and on and seem never to quit. One of the doctors was quoted as examining one of the girls and saying she will be healed in two days times. Anyone who has ever suffered from a sexual assault knows that it takes a lifetime of healing. What is the best defense that we can provide for these women in these oppressive countries? Lift our Voice! We have the freedom to speak on behalf of these children. We have access to all the international presses. Share this information, Speak against the Unspeakable. Help bring light to the darkness that these children are subjected to.

We lift these little sisters up to you Father and pray that their bodies, minds and souls be touched with the healing touch that can only come from our loving heavenly Father.  We pray that you anoint them with the Balm of Gilead and bring peace to their spirits. We pray that you show us what we can do to bring light to this darkness. We pray that you will give us the avenues to bring justice to injustice and to speak against the unspeakable crimes that are happening to these innocent children. In Jesus Name Amen.