Nepal | July 12, 2020

Muslim women facing sexual abuse by family members, fail to raise voice

Rastriya Samachar Samiti
Share Now:

Rupandehi, December 1

A 32-year-old Muslim woman of Shivagadhiya in Lumbini has been allegedly facing sexual harassment on a regular basis at the hands of her father-in-law.

Once she decided to seek police help, but before she could do anything her father-in-law warned her of dire consequences. Her father-in-law threatened to expel her from home and entire village if she reported the matter to police. Since then, she is continuously facing sexual harassment, but  she has not been able to raise her voice for justice.

Her husband is in Malaysia. Police came to know about her situation, but could not do anything as there was no complaint registered against the accused.

Najira Khatun (name changed) of Madhuwani has a similar story to share. Khatun got married to a man from Bethari, Rupandehi, three years ago. she is facing unwelcome sexual advances from her brother-in-law and father-in law. If she speaks against them, they beat her. She shared about it with her husband, but instead of getting moral and other kinds of support from him, her husband beat her up saying that charges were false and she intended to defame his father and brother.

Since then she has been living with her parents, who have not yet filed any complaint against the perpetrators.

These two women are just the examples how women suffer sexual violence within family and get no support for justice. This paints a grim picture of the society. In case of sexual or other sorts of violence in family, Muslim women rarely show courage to speak about it in public or report to police as they fear that it would defame their family and tarnish family’s prestige.

Police collect data about such violence through several means, but in the absence of written complaints, they cannot respond to such cases. Police concludes that many Muslim women become victims of sexual violence within their family but most of the cases go unreported.

UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discriminations against Women considered as a bill of women rights to which Nepal is a state party, defines sexual relations with women against her will, physical touching, teasing, uttering abusive words and winking eye targeting her and showing vulgar pictures and photographs to her and forcing her to keep physical relationship as sexual violence against women.

Police Inspector at Area Police Office Lumbini Shankar Pokharel said only few cases of sexual violence were reported to police due to life threats from perpetrators, who are usually the family members.

District Police Office, Rupandehi, says that in the first four and half months of the current fiscal, 123 cases of violence against women were registered followed by 38 cases of human trafficking, 27 of attempted rape, nine cases of rape, two murder cases and one case of child marriage.

Assistant Sub-inspector of Police Meena Acharya said women did not report cases of sexual violence due to fear and government had failed to guarantee safety and security of women who become the victims of such violence.

According to the police record, women from the Tarai region face sexual violence more. Many VAW cases go unnoticed as many of such cases are solved within family or community, said Inspector Pokharel.

According Area Police Office, Butwal, chief Dil Bahadur Malla, victims tolerate the violence silently fearing shame.

According to him, lack of support from family is one of the major factors that discourages women from seeking police help.

Human rights activists Indira Acharya said role of family and society would be important to ensure justice and create safe environment for victims to raise their voice against injustice.

Besides monetary aspect, complex legal procedure, lack of support from family and fear of shame compel victims to keep mum and tolerate pain in isolation.

A version of this article appears in print on December 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Tarai districts at risk of floods after heavy rainfall in hilly region

RAUTAHAT: Tarai districts are at a high risk of floods as water level has risen alarmingly after incessant rainfall in hilly and Chure region in recent days. Locals residing on the banks of Bagmati and Lalbakiya rivers in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts have been living in terror of floods as Read More...

NHRC chief draws flak for condemning Mohna Ansari

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 National Human Rights Commission Chairman Anup Raj Sharma has drawn flak for issuing a press release condemning NHRC member Mohna Ansari for criticising Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s decision to expel Sarita Giri from both the party and the House of Representatives. Sharma h Read More...

Commission on the investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons

Conflict victims lament govt’s apathy in their joint submission

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Various victim groups of Nepal have made a joint submission to the 37th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing its attention to the Government of Nepal’s persistent failure to deliver truth, justice, repar Read More...

Gaindakot, Nawalparasi

East-West Highway obstructed as flood sweeps diversion in Nawalpur

KATHMANDU: The East-West Highway has been obstructed since a diversion was washed away by a flash flood at Gaindakot section in Nawalparasi (East) district. It has been learnt that the vehicular movement along the highway came to halt after the flooded rivulet in Thumsi swept away the culvert o Read More...

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) standing committee meet put off for a week

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has postponed its Standing Committee meeting for a week. NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha wrote on his Twitter handle that the party took the decision to postpone its Standing Committee meeting to enable the party’s rank and fil Read More...

‘Regulate particular content, media, not entire industry’

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Freedom Forum, a civil society organisation, issued a press release condemning cable operators’ decision to halt broadcast of Indian news channels, except Doordarshan, over misleading and defamatory content about Nepal. Freedom Forum said service providers and media carrie Read More...

Jada and Will Smith reveal marriage trouble on Facebook show

LOS ANGELES: With their marriage under social-media scrutiny, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith reaffirmed their commitment to each other as Pinkett Smith admitted to having a relationship with musician August Alsina when she and Smith were separated. In a one-on-one conversation Friday on Pinke Read More...

Amazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistake

Roughly five hours after an internal email went out Friday to Amazon employees telling them to delete the popular video app TikTok from their phones, the online retailing giant appeared to backtrack, calling the ban a mistake. “This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error," Read More...