‘Revenge Rape’ in Pakistan: Parents Consent to Daughter’s Sexual Assault as ‘Compensation’

Supporters of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) take part in a protest after a child was raped and murdered in Karachi on January 13, 2018. Hundreds of protesters enraged over the murder of a young girl threw stones at government buildings in a Pakistani city near the Indian border for a …
RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images

Parents in Pakistan reportedly consented to their daughter being sexually assaulted to atone for their son’s alleged rape of another woman, prompting police to arrest members of the two families who signed an agreement approving the heinous act described as “revenge rape.”

Pakistani law enforcement arrested several men in connection with the “revenge rape” case, which took place on March 20 in Punjab province, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) agency reports.

“A boy named Waseem was caught in the act with a 16-year old girl and the whole neighborhood gathered demanding to kill the boy,” Naeem Yousuf, a local police official, told AFP.

“The boy’s family then gave the girl’s family the option of raping any woman in their family,” added the police officer

“They chose a 40-year-old woman, who was duly raped by the brother of the 16-year-old girl,” revealed AFP.

Pakistani authorities reportedly arrested ten members from the two families.

The Times reports:

Documents drawn up by the families in the eastern province of Punjab showed that both sides had agreed to take no further action if the parents of the “rapist” agreed to submit their daughter to be attacked as “compensation”. The incident has cast a light on the brutal community justice and attitudes towards sexual violence that persist in remote or conservative parts of South Asia, and has outraged politicians and human rights activists.

Some residents of Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan’s neighbor, Afghanistan, engage in the illegal traditional practice known as “baad,” which involves settling disputes among families by trading girls and women to settle a dispute between families, many times a blood dispute.

Women are oppressed and treated as property in many Muslim-majority countries.

AFP notes:

Revenge rapes often occur in patriarchal Pakistan, where women have fought for their rights for decades. They are often used as a quick measure to settle disputes, usually between men, without going through the country’s lengthy and expensive judicial system.

The news outlet points out that the sexual assaults are often ordered by village councils known as jirga, which is formed of local elders who ignore the justice system and take matters into their own hands.

In July 2017, Pakistani law enforcement arrested 25 people who sit on a Pakistani village jirga for allegedly ordering a 16-year-old girl’s rape as an act of revenge against her brother.

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