Reporting sex crimes
IT is heartening to read that families in the NWFP are breaking taboos on reporting sex crimes to the police. On Thursday, police officials said that they receive around 25 cases of sexual assault every month from nearly all districts in the province.
Compare this with just a couple of cases that were registered a few years ago and the difference becomes clear. This shows that people’s awareness has been raised and they are rejecting the notion that reporting a rape brings dishonour to the family.
This was a big hurdle that prevented people from stepping forward to report sex crimes. Thankfully this is changing. As of July 31, the police recorded 150 cases of sexual assault from 24 districts of the province. The victims are girls and women of 11 to 50 years of age while the age of male victims is six to 18. They must not feel that they have been denied justice.
There are more hurdles that need to be overcome. The police have to strengthen their investigation process and ensure that cul-
prits are apprehended and brought to justice. Far too often culprits get away with their crime because the court does not have enough evidence to convict the perpetrator. For this, the police say they need to have better-trained personnel to handle investigations as well as modern equipment that can help them secure evidence which will lead to convictions. The same is true of the medico-legal team which examines sex crime victims: they too must be properly trained to gather evidence and have it analysed as quickly as possible for which improved facilities will also have to be provided. It is important to secure rape convictions so that justice is delivered and more people are encouraged to step forward to report crimes.