A woman was raped in the F-9 park in the very heart of Islamabad and as the details of the incident emerge, the more furious the public feels. Aside from the obvious threat to women’s safety, it’s the victim blaming and the misogynistic mentality of the rapist that angered people. Reports that the suspect told the victim she should not be out at night sparked outrage and debate on the policing of women and the promotion of rape culture.
The woman was raped at gunpoint on Thursday night and a case was filed at the Margalla police station. The Islamabad police issued on Sunday a sketch of one of the suspects involved in the rape. In the FIR, the woman said she had gone to the park at about 8pm with her male colleague when “two men stopped [us] at gunpoint and took them towards a jungle”. After she was raped by two men, one of the rapists asked the woman what she does for a living and told her to “not come to the park at this time”, the FIR said.
News of the assault spread like wildfire on social media. People were appalled that even in such a case, people found ways to pin the blame on the victim.
We can’t believe we need to humanise women in the eyes of the public.
The idea that women only belong at home has not only made public spaces inaccessible for 50 per cent of the population but also somehow made twisted men think it’s okay to sexually assault women who don’t ‘comply’.
This just proves that women are not safe yet the issue is still not being taken seriously.
Citizens who frequent the park are feeling very uncomfortable. One netizen raised a point — why is it that consensual affection is immediately caught by the police but assault seems to slip by their notice?
Even the rapist blamed the victim immediately after raping her.
Being a woman in Pakistan means the trauma only piles on.
We hope women’s safety is taken more seriously in this country so women don’t have to feel like they have to leave to simply exist without being harmed.