Rape, abuse reported in encampments

- Pratichya Dulal, Kathmandu

May 27, 2015-Inclement weather and outbreak of diseases aren’t the only things that the families displaced by the earthquake and now living under tents  need to worry about.

There are also riotous drunkards and worse, sexual predators.

Two cases of rape and five cases of attempt to rape have been reported in temporary shelters inside Kathmandu Valley since the April 25 earthquake. Police said a five-year-old girl who was living in a tent with her family at Lainchour was raped by a 42 year-old-man on May 18.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Tara Thapa of Metropolitan Police Office at Ranipokhari said the accused has been arrested and the investigation was underway.

Similarly, a 21-year-old man was arrested on the charge of attempt to rape on an 11-year-old girl at Budhanilkantha. Cases of attempt to rape have also been filed from open shelters at Thankot, Samakhushi, Tundikhel, Basundhara and Thimi. All the victims in these cases were aged between five and nine.

There have also been several complaints of men verbally abusing and harassing women in encampments for the earthquake victims. “We receive phone calls from young women complaining that men living inside the same tent with them often come drunk and tease and harass them,” said DSP Thapa.

For women living under tents in Tundhikhel, the problem of drunken men is very big. “We hear a lot of people quarrelling in their tents during nights. Often, it is the case of some drunken man harassing a woman,” said Roshani Rai, a  20-year- old undergraduate student from Lagan.

Women rights activists suspect the cases of sexual harassment could be higher in remote areas where police stations are few and far between.

“It is an established fact that women and children are vulnerable in the times of disaster. The government must launch awareness programme and provide better security in open shelters,” said Sapana Pradhan Malla, women rights activist and lawyer. “Law enforcement agencies should also make extra effort to curb the cases of sexual abuses and trafficking of young girls and women.”

Published: 28-05-2015 07:06

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