Background: Last week, police in Pakistan discovered some 400 video recordings of over 280 children being forced to have sex in Punjab – by 25 men. According to HuffPost, “Villagers in the central Punjabi village of Husain Khan Wala told Reuters that a prominent family there has for years forced children to perform sex acts on video. The footage was sold or used to blackmail their impoverished families.” Some of the families who went to the police to report the crimes say that instead of getting the perpetrator, the police took their children in custody and/or the families were told to get lost.
The media everywhere is addressing the case as “the largest sex abuse scandal in Pakistan,” and I’m troubled by the claims that 1) it’s a scandal, and 2) it’s the largest ever (wherever).
Dear humans, especially Pakistani humans,
1. PLEASE stop referring to the recent child sexual abuse case as a “scandal.” A friend of mine on Facebook pointed out–and I fully agree with her–that the word “scandal” implies there was consent involved from the children’s side, when there absolutely was none. That’s what makes it abuse. Abuse is never scandalous. What’s scandalous is too many shame-based societies’ tendency to make a scandal out of everything and because people fear the idea of a scandal so much, they keep such serious crimes as sexual abuses under the rug – until the rug cannot hide anymore, and all the abuses pile up and erupt and everyone comes to know about it. What good does it to keep such realities hidden? And that, too, at the expense of putting more children in danger! (Also, here’s a blog post of mine where I talked about when my Qur’an teacher would sexually abuse children (girls, according to my knowledge); and this link shares some responses from readers who, too, have experienced sexual abuse.)
2. PLEASE stop labeling this case as “the largest ever”! It’s not the largest ever – it’s the largest that you (involuntarily) chose to hear about! Children in large numbers are sexually abused on a daily basis, and this is merely the first time you’re willing to admit it happened in one sitting.
God protect our children and all of us from all kinds of harm, aameen ❤ Praying for comfort and peace for the children and their families. What an impossible torture to have to endure for the rest of your life . . . #YaRabb.