Nepal | January 23, 2021

Social stigma related to sexual violence still rampant in society

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:
women's room reloaded demo against violence against women

Women hold placards during a demonstration against violence against women organised by Women’s Room Reloaded in Maitighar, Kathmandu on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Photo: Skanda Gautam

Kathmandu, November 16

A 20-year old lady from Nuwakot doesn’t want to go home because of the social stigma attached to sexual violence.

“I can’t live in a society where I am constantly tortured psychologically and intimidated for exposing the act of sexual violence which spoiled my life,” she said.

Her cousin sister’s father-in-law who is in his mid 50s had attempted to rape her on October 26, 2015 when she was alone at home. The same day, she revealed the case to her parents who later reported it to the nearby police office.

The next day, they reported at the District Police Office but the office refused to register the complaint.

“The perpetrator belonged to a rich family with strong political support therefore they tried to settle the case by providing cash, which I refused,” she said, adding, “I decided to go to court for justice.

At first, my family and neighbours supported me, but later they turned against me.” She said when the district court gave a clean chit to the perpetrator because of his power and money and political protection, even her family regretted revealing the case.

“Instead of getting justice from the court, I was humiliated. I now know that the social stigma related to the case will last forever,” she added.

Now she wants to economically empowered by establishing a small tailoring house far from her hometown where she can spend the rest of her life.

This is just a representative case of many young girls and women in Nepal who are wounded physically and mentally due to sexual violence and the social stigma with lifelong effects.

Parbati Kumari Chaudhary, a 50-year old woman who was raped repeatedly by Nepali Army officers while she was in custody for three months in Bramhajiyaa Barracks from May 2004 had to lose her only daughter due to social stigma.

“When my daughter’s husband and her family came to know that I was repeatedly raped by Nepali Army officials in custody on the allegation of being a Maoist combatant, they started torturing my daughter, a post-graduate in Science.

She could not tolerate it and committed suicide by setting herself on fire,” she said.

She informed that she had a five-year old granddaughter from her daughter but they are not allowing her to talk to that young child, who is unaware of sexual violence and the stigma attached to it.

Bandana Rana, member of CEDAW committee said that there is social stigma at various stages from individual level to state policy level, which is discouraging the victims of sexual violence to expose the perpetrator and get justice with a justifiable rehabilitation package.

DIG Ram Kumar Khanal at Women and Children Service Directorate of Nepal Police headquarters said that majority of victims of sexual violence are between 11 and 16 years while the perpetrators are aged between 19 and 35 years.

He said, “When the victim of sexual violence faces intolerable stigma, they suffer from depression resulting into suicide in many cases.”

Dr Kiran Rupakhetee, program director, National Planning Commission Secretariat said, “Stigma is one of the most prevalent and persistent obstacles hindering the transformation of any mental health system and of attitudes in the community,” adding, “Stigma leads to low self-esteem, a sense of being misunderstood, hopelessness, shame and guilt.”

“Stigma also deters people from socialising with others,” said Dr Rupakhetee, who was earlier at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.

He further said that post-traumatic stress disorder, severe depression, crippling anxiety and deep shame can all be suffered by survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

A version of this article appears in print on November 17, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Poor leadership to blame for surge in crime: Odd

DHANGADI, JANUARY 21 Nepali Congress Dhangadi Municipal Committee President Nripa Bahadur Odd said that crime had increased after communists offered garlands to criminal-minded people. Addressing a protest assembly in Dhangadi today, Odd said communists had protected rapists, thieves, murderer Read More...

Fauci credits Biden for letting 'the science speak' as new administration puts focus on virus

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden unveiled sweeping measures to battle COVID-19 on his first full day in office on Thursday, with his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, praising his new boss’ willingness to “let the science speak” in contrast to the Trump administration. Biden said he Read More...

US Ambassador Berry met with PM Oli to discuss Biden priorities  

KATHMANDU: US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry met with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to discuss President Biden’s top priorities, on Thursday evening. Issuing a press release, the US Embassy in Nepal stated, Ambassador Berry noted that the Biden administration wants to partner with Nepal and Read More...

Seven more fatalities take Nepal's Covid-19 death toll close to 2000 on Friday

KATHMANDU: Nepal's coronavirus death-toll has advanced to 1,986 with seven more fatalities reported on Friday. Globally, 2.1 million people have lost their lives to Covid-19 while more than 98 million people have been infected by the disease. Today, 302 new coronavirus cases surfaced after whi Read More...

Three cricketers leave for UAE to play T-10 League

KATHMANDU: Former captain of the men's National Cricket Team Paras Khadka along with Kushal Malla and Karan KC have left for UAE to play in the T-10 League Cricket Championship, on Thursday evening. The cricket championship is taking place from January 28 to February 6. Khadka would take on th Read More...

In Pictures: Thousands rally forth in mass protest in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, January 22 Large mass rallies were taken out today by the Dahal-Nepal faction of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in Kathmandu Valley. See in the pictures are protesters in thousands walking the roads of the capital city to meet at a mass gathering. Also participating in the demon Read More...

302 new cases take nationwide Covid-19 tally to 268,948

KATHMANDU: Nepal on Friday reported 302 new cases of coronavirus infection from across the country. With this, the nationwide infection count has advanced to 268,948. Of the total cases, 133 are females while 169 are males. In the last 24 hours, 112 cases surfaced in Kathmandu valley. The capi Read More...

Kathmandu valley logs 112 coronavirus infections Friday

KATHMANDU: On Friday, 112 individuals --53 women, 59 men --  were reported to have contracted the coronavirus infection in the Kathmandu valley. 90 of the 112 infections surfaced in Kathmandu while 13 and nine cases were detected in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, respectively. According to the data Read More...