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Stalking now ends up in murders

  • Published at 08:07 pm August 30th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:32 am August 31st, 2016
Stalking now ends up in murders
On August 3, the mother of a student of class eight in Sunamganj was stabbed by her stalker named Al-Amin, 28. It turned out that Al-Amin was refusing to take “no” for answer to his proposal for months even though the girl was more than ten years younger than him, making his sexual advances towards her also an act of child sexual abuse. On August 3, Al-Amin went to the girl’s house and tried to rape her; when her mother heard her scream she ran inside scaring Al-Amin and he stabbed the mother before he ran away. Golam Kibria, officer-in-charge of Dharmapasha union, said a case was filed in connection and Al-Amin was arrested and sent to jail on August 5. The latest incident of violent sexual harassment cements the rise of male sexual entitlement with the fatal stabbing of Suraiya Akhter Risha, 14. Suraiya passed away three days after she was brutally stabbed by her stalker for refusing his romantic advances towards her. Her murderer had been stalking her since she visited a tailoring shop where he worked. Statistics from Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) state that in 2015, ten girls committed suicide from sexual harassment while 89 girls were attacked by their stalkers for refusing to date them. In the first six months of 2016, at least six people were killed for protesting eve-teasing while 57 other injured. During this period, three girls committed suicide and four others stopped going to school. The data also shows that six were killed last year by their stalkers. Advocate Dilruba Sharmin of Say No to Violence Against Women said: “If a law targeting sexual harassment can be enacted under a special tribunal, then this can be handled better.” Pre-pubescent and adolescent girls are greatly victimised by sexual harassers. Data from Bangladesh Shishu Adhikar Forum (BSAF) for this year shows that at least 31 girls have reported being harassed while 16 reported being sexually harassed by their stalkers for refusing their advances. BSAF data shows an alarming rise of violent male behaviour towards these girls where 20 were physically assaulted for refusing to date them and 22 were sexually assaulted including by their male teachers. On August 16, BSAF reported that a seventh grader of Mothbaria, Pirojpur was verbally harassed and eventually sexually harassed by several stalkers for refusing romantic advances. Data from BSAF shows that on July 23, a tenth grader from Singair, Manikganj was physically assaulted by stalkers for refusing romantic overtures while on the same day a seventh grader in Bagerhat was sexually molested by a rickshaw puller. BSAF Director AF Mahmood said: "Law enforcers have to be careful while investigating such cases or else these crimes will keep increasing day by day." Bangladesh National Women Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA) filed a complaint against sexual harassment in 2010 where the High Court responded with some directives. The HC ordered formation of a five-member committee in every institute and educational institutions to investigate matters of sexual harassment. Salma Ali, executive director of BNWLA, told the Dhaka Tribune that awareness of sexual and violent sexual harassment needs to be made. Despite the HC directives, there has been little or no change, she said. These young men turn into sexual predators from watching pornography online and they try to force women into such acts without consent, getting violent when she refuses, she added. Salma Ali also said: “The government should take appropriate measures to prevent future incidents like this.” Chairman of criminology department at Dhaka University Professor Zia Rahman said: “A lack of accountability lets perpetrators feel like they can get away with it.”
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