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‘87% girls sexually harassed by family members’

  • Published at 01:41 pm March 30th, 2016

Around 87% of females face sexual harassment by their family members at home, data from Bangladesh Mahila Parishad showed.

The data also showed an increase in the number of rapes.

From January to September 2015, a total of 3,336 women and minor girls were raped and victimised. Also, 158 of the 826 rapes involved gang rape incidents.

During the period, there were 111 cases of attempt to rape and 71 victims died after rape. The number of sexual abuse cases was 27 and that of sexual harassment incidents was 79 while 29 women were victims of acid attack.

Also, 45 women were burned in fire and 17 of them later died. 65 women were kidnapped while there were 61 cases of trafficking of women and minor girls. 

A total of 302 women were subjected to torture for dowry and 161 were killed for dowry.

“Our data reveal that some 87% of females are sexually harassed by their own family members at home and this leads to trauma among the victims. This is why awareness of sexual harassment should be raised from the family and it is the family that has to take a stand against this sort of harassment,” said advocate Maksuda Akther, director of legal advocacy at Bangladesh Mahila Parishad, while addressing a discussion organised by Brac School of Law and Bangladesh Mahila Parishad at Brac University auditorium in the capital yesterday.

“Even though the incidence of sexual harassment by family members is so high, we still do not have a proper definition of sexual harassment. Only the justice system cannot prevent torture and sexual harassment of women in the long run. We need to change and to amend our existing laws as well,” she said.

Brac School of Law Professor Saira Rahman Khan said the subject of sexuality should be taught at school in detail in addition to amending laws.

Professor Khandakar Shamsuddin Mahmud, dean of Brac School of Law and Bangladesh Mahila Parishad lawyer Dipty Sikder were present at the discussion among others. 

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