The Rape Of 12 Year Old Zain Qureshi From Multan Has Exposed, Yet Again, The Need For Attention To Male Victims Of Sexual Violence

By Umme Hani | 1 Sep, 2020

The rape of young Zain Qureshi demands action toward serious rehabilitation of our society

Zain Qureshi, a mere 12-year-old boy, was raped in Multan on August 31. Three unknown men allegedly cajoled the boy into accompanying them to the market where they viciously planned to rape him. Various accounts allegedly state that Zain was raped by one of these men, but his resistance to the second attempt got him shot in the bottom.

Zain was rushed to Nishtar Hospital where he underwent a five-hour surgical operation and, thankfully, survived! It has also been reportedly pronounced that two men involved in the Zain Qureshi rape case have been taken into custody, whereas one is still on the run.

 

The rape of young Zain Qureshi exposes, yet again, the need for proper framework to ensure prevention of sexual violence in our country

 

People have been demanding justice for the rape of Zain Qureshi, saying that this is a health and human rights issue in Pakistan

 

However, this incident reveals a deeper need for our society to understand sexual violence and not just carry out arrests and hangings just to appease the angry masses

Unsurprisingly, rape in Pakistan often relates to the use of force to ‘carry off’ women. It’s utterly unfortunate how male victims of rape and sexual assault show reluctance to break their silence for fear of stigmatization.

child-sex-abuse-2
Source: indiatimes.com

The contemporary social norms continue to perpetuate or, in fact, reinforce sexual violence against men, and discourage them from seeking help and justice. Why is this country still not ready to challenge the perpetuation and plausibility of male-on-male and, more seemingly improbable, female-on-male sexual assaults? A thorough analysis of Pakistani society reveals that male rape is a recurring, yet latent phenomenon.

 

Male rape is NOT a myth and the rape of young Zain Qureshi just reinforces that

“Men can never fall victim to sexual abuse” – Without a doubt, our society is conditioned to swallow this barbaric assumption hook, line, and sinker. There is no denying the fact that men muster up immense courage to divulge their rape stories to the community for fear of falling into contempt.

The ‘male perpetrator and female victim’ primitive mindset neglects the issue of male rape. Consequently, the existing laws of our patriarchal society continue to remain silent on the issue in question. Typically, the preconceived notion of gender and masculinity has positioned men as sexually impenetrable and dominant beings who are capable of rape, and not capable of being victims of rape. Thus, this four-letter word remains a taboo subject in our society, not kept a record of or openly discussed.

Source: irishhealth.com

Section 375 of Pakistani Penal Code (1860), which criminalizes rape, fails to recognize men as possible rape victims.

Given that, according to this law, penile penetration is what constitutes rape, the code explicitly states that the only victims of rape are ‘women,’ with men ALWAYS being the ‘perpetrators’ of this egregious crime. The dearth of statistical data on both, the unreported and reported cases of male sexual assault is par for the course with such bigoted, archaic law.

Despite the scarcity of relevant data on male rape and sexual assault, a report revealed that 1,368 Pakistani boys had survived sexual exploitation just in 2017.

Unquestionably, recognizing the fact that sexual abuse and assault are crimes of power, and not sex is of the utmost significance.

Jamshed Mehmood, popularly known as Jami, a celebrated Pakistani filmmaker, broke his 13-year-long silence in October 2019, accusing Hameed Haroon, the CEO of Dawn of allegedly raping him. Indeed, this alleged rape case puts forth how indispensable it is to initiate conversations about male sexual exploitation and break the taboo.

The modification of existing rape laws in the Pakistani Penal Code is the first step towards breaking the silence. How can you assume that men and children are safe in Pakistan? We reside in a society that does not even bestow mercy on kittens. Think about it.

 

My Husband Is A Rape Survivor And Here’s Why I Still Chose To Marry Him

 

We Talked To Male Victims Of Harassment And Sexual Abuse. Here’s What They Had To Say

 


Cover image: @meRizwanQureshi via Twitter / pknama.com

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