In the year 2015, the nation witnessed a dreadful case of sexual violence that sparked demonstrations in different parts of the nation concerning the safety not only of the women but also of female children. The cruel episode of Puja Sah, a seven year old girl of Bara district who was raped after being abducted and was found unconscious in a garbage disposal site, signaled the degree of brutality associated with cases of sexual violence. The minor who was undergoing treatment, eventually succumbed to injuries 17 days after the incident on March 8, 2015.
A few months later in August, another similar incident took place in Bara again, where a 14 year old was raped on the way to her tuition classes and upon searching was found unconscious near a bush by her parents. These were not the onset of registered crimes against minor in Bara district.
Prior to this, one among the recorded cases is of a six year old girl of Kalaiya, Bara who was gang-raped in April 2014 and died while undergoing treatment. The incidents, undoubtedly, are indicative of a gruesome situation with regards to children’s safety against sexual predators. Moreover, as per the records maintained by the District Police Office, in 2015, a total of 25 rape cases were reported in Bara and among them 12 included minors. And among the 184 rape cases reported in 2015 in five District Police Offices of mid-Terai including Bara, over 100 cases involved children. Subsequent rape cases in the same location cannot be taken lightly. Only a few days back, a couple in Bara was murdered while a retaliating gang-rape. A few incidents coming into light can be potential warning against an underlying grave situation.
The situation in Bara is just one example. This year itself, according to reports, rape was on the top of the list of crimes against women in Nepal. Cases of sexual violence had not only risen in the capital but in different parts of the nation. Child rape rate in Nepal has been distressingly alarming. So far in 2017, more than twenty rape cases of girls aged up to 12 year old have been reported by the media.
Girls and women are equally vulnerable towards the sexual crimes, however the possible reasons for minor being targeted could be their innocence, inability to defend and perhaps no possibility of pregnancies.
In order to fight this atrocity, first and foremost, the victim-blaming culture needs to change. It must be realized that the rape victim is primarily and worse affected by the ghastly event and needs to be protected and supported.