In a shocking incident, a young woman was raped by two armed men at the F-9 Park in Islamabad on February 2. According to the 24-year-old victim, she was visiting the F-9 Park along with a male companion around 8pm when two armed stopped them at gunpoint, separated them and then took her towards a thicket and raped her. They also threatened her to remain silent or they would call “more friends” to rape her. After raping her, she was told by the rapists that she should not have been in the park at night. A police complaint at Margalla police station mentioned that the woman had marks of torture on her legs and face. “I was slapped. My hair was pulled and I was thrown on the floor,” the woman’s statement to the police read.
People in Pakistan have expressed anger over the country’s “rape epidemic” and also slammed negligence over such cases of violence against women. Hundreds of protesters gathered in the F-9 park slamming the law enforcement’s response to the assault as they tied their dupattas to the railings in solidarity with the rape victims and survivors.
It was also quite shocking that the Islamabad Police asked people after this incident to only visit well-lit areas in the park when the rapists took the girl to a thicket to rape her at gunpoint. Instead of taking responsibility and providing security to citizens, the police want to restrict people’s movement. As anger and rage engulfed Pakistan over the issue of women’s safety, we still look for answers to whether this will ever end and whether women will find happiness, security and peace in Pakistan. Will victim-blaming ever stop? Will there ever come a time when society and the lawmakers all unanimously stand as one with the victims and survivors? Will the predators of such heinous crimes be punished? Will the war on women ever come to an end?
To the hopelessness and rage that fills our hearts, may women find security, protectiveness and justice in this country. Will Pakistan ever stand with its women? The women are angry, and rightly so as they have been betrayed by their own system, society and law-enforcers.
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