Child Abuse

Video Report by Syed Amir Taqvi

When eight year old Fatima left home with her father, she had no idea what would happen. The trusting little girl held his hand and followed him outside. That was probably the last time anyone saw.

Fatima’s father Mustafa had never been a pleasant man. When he was at home, it was normal to hear him shout and yell and lose his temper. At times he would fly into such a rage, he would end up thrashing his wife or his children over something trivial.

The family lived in a small house in the Herchowki village near Chunian, Kasur – both places now known for the grisly and tragic child sexual assault and murders in the past. The family informs that Mustafa, had a severe drug addiction, also resulting in violent tendencies.

INHERENT TRUST

When Mustafa left with the child, no one knew she had gone with him. He sneaked her out, without telling anyone where he was going. Some time later when they realized that Fatima was missing, the family began a frantic search in an attempt to find her, but to no avail.

“I was offering my prayers when my granddaughter brought to be a dupatta and then darted away. That was the last time I saw her,” recalled the victim’s grandmother.

Announcements were made from the loud speaker of the village mosque. As the search was on going, the family received a call from Mustafa.

“When I asked my husband to look for our child, he started to abuse me instead,” said Fatima’s mother. “He told me our little girl’s dead body is on the other side of the field, that I should go collect it from there.” she lamented.

‘I have murdered Fatima,’ he had told his wife on the phone, audaciously adding that he had also dumped her body there in the field.

RAPED AND KILLED: A TRAGIC DEATH

In a while the police recovered the body of the little girl, lying dead in the marshy farm land. A case was registered against the accused Mustafa of terrorism charges while the investigation remains ongoing.

A preliminary medical report from the post-mortem conducted at the Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) hospital has revealed that Fatima was both sodomized and raped before being strangled to death. Her father, who was meant to protect her, has himself admitted to the crime.

Fatima’s mother, has demanded a severe punishment for the accused for what he has done.

CHILD ABUSE AND LEGISLATION

Meanwhile citizens say that until and unless severe punishments are not doled out for those committing sexual abuse against children, such incidents will continue to happen. In the past also the nation has been shocked by huge incidents including the busting of a child porn ring in the Hussainwala village, the rape and murder of at least eight little girls from Kasur city, the highlight of which became the Zainab Ansari case; and the sodomy and murder of four minor boys in Chunian. Coincidently all three incidents have taken place in Kasur, however other cities have reported even higher statistics. It is also highlighted in research findings that when children are victims or survivors of sexual abuse, it is mostly their family or acquaintances who are the abusers.

At the same time, societal opinion is that if criminals who are guilty of violence and sexual abuse against children are prescribed harsher sentences under new and existing laws, there may not be any noticeable effect in mitigating the number of incidents or the trend of child sexual abuse.