Rape victim stigmatised, deprived of education

Kawasoti, February 7

A teenage girl who was gang-raped by three youths three years ago in Nawalpur of Nawalparasi district has been further victimised. She was denied education owing to the social stigma and poverty.

The girl, who was 13 years old when the incident took place, was eventually served justice, but could not continue her education after the incident. The victim, who comes from an impoverished family, was ordered by the court to be compensated Rs 100,000 by each culprit. She had only received Rs 100,000 as compensation and that too after two years.

Unfavourable financial prospects aside, the girl admitted there was no conducive environment in her home to receive further education as she was stigmatised. Her school friends are currently studying in grade 8 while her education journey was impeded following that unpleasant incident. The now 17-year-old narrated, “I am ridiculed or accused of no obvious reason by villagers. I used to shuttle between my relatives’ houses and Service Centre at Parasi while my case was sub-judice at the District Court to avoid the stigma or social shame.”

The victim further explained that the houses of those perpetrators lie on the way to her school. The families and relatives of those perpetrators continue to abuse her verbally whenever their paths cross.

According to her, they also spit on her, use foul words and blame her. “They are the culprits but they behave as if I am the one.”

Her father, who fends for his family by pulling a rickshaw, is not educated and neither is her mother. A father of four, the victim’s father wailed that it was very difficult to take care of children’s education and meet other expenses with his earning.

One year has passed since the court ordered her to be compensated, the victim has not received the rest of the Rs 200,000 compensation amount as the office of the Women and Children was scrapped after the Nepali month of Asar this year.

They received the letter only on Asar 26 from the District Court after completing all necessary process and sent to the Kawasoti Municipality office which failed to provide compensation amount to the victim due to the budget crunch.

It is stated that documents seeking compensation amount for the victim have been forwarded to the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens while the girl seeks to get a new lease of life with further education and love, care and dignified treatment from her family and villagers.