She was only seven, a minor, an innocent angel, ruthlessly subjected to the lust of a wicked criminal and sexual terrorist, thrown to a garbage heap after being raped and murdered. Imagine the pain she would have undergone before being killed.
What was her crime? None, except she was a girl and that too a minor.
The story of Zainab is the story of all 11 ill-fated girl meted out with same inhuman treatment in Kusoor district in the year 2017.
Had there been the same outrage by the Pakistani society, those innocent lives may have been saved.But alas, it took 11 lives including Zainab to wake us up from slumber.
Here the best revenge for the loss would be ceasing of all such incidents in future. Enough with the deaths.No more Zainabs!
For this to happen we need to adopt some of the following techniques.Before that, let’s examine the possible causes of Child sex abuse (CSA).
According to American Psychological Association (APA). one among various environmental factors of child abuse is “children living in dangerous neighborhoods are at higher risk than children from safer neighborhood s for severe neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. It is possible that violence may seem an acceptable response or behavior to individuals who witness it more frequently.”
It is, therefore, no surprise the incident took place in Kasur, where several such incidents had been reported, but deplorably no stringent action against perpetrators and no follow up of media of the said cases.
Besides the precise reasons contributing to these incidents would unfold once the criminal is apprehended. Here the responsibility also lies with the law enforcement agencies,as the area is notorious for such cases of child abuse.
Sadly, no special measures were taken, no quick response for the recovery of Zainab who was reported missing five days earlier. Now let’s see the possible effects on the personality of the children.
There are adverse effects of CSA on children according to Wikipedia: “Effects of child sexual abuse on the victim(s) include guilt and self-blame, flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, fear of things associated with the abuse (including objects, smells, places, doctor’s visits, etc.), self-esteem difficulties, sexual dysfunction, chronic pain, addiction, self-injury, suicidal ideation, somatic complaints, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder,anxiety,other mental illnesses including borderline personality disorder and dissociative identity disorder, propensity to re-victimization in adulthood,bulimia nervosa, and physical injury to the child, among other problems.”
To put a full stop to such incidents, LEAs have a very important role to play along with civil society, parents, teachers and other stakeholders.
Children must be educated about child abuse and sexual harassment. LEAs must enhance their surveillance and patrol along with searching and recovery of abductees.
Agitation after Kasur tragedy claimed two lives which is regretful. Parents must not leave vulnerable children between age five and 13 years at the mercy of others, as the case of Zainab suggests in which parents were performing Umrah.
The school teachers, especially in coeducational institutions, also enlighten their pupil regarding inappropriate behaviour from supporting staff or even fellow students. There must be separate sexual education awareness programmes for minor boys and girls.
Nothing can bring Zainab back, yet we can save many Zainabs from child abuse and from being murdered.
We have lost a little angel, she left us for good, but the best way to pay homage to her obviously would be to protect other girls from the brutality of the black sheep and misopedists in our society.