When nine-year-old Asma Khatoon (not her real name) was coming home from school by herself on a regular afternoon, she did not know what lay ahead.
On her way, Asma’s neighbour Yousuf stopped and lured her with the promise of a mango. She followed him to a lonely place of the village where Yousuf raped her.
Young girls like Asma fall prey to this violent crime frequently in this country.
A study by The Daily Star has discovered that 82 percent of rape victims are under the age of 20.
Although we have found 800-900 rape incidents being reported in a year, these numbers, however, do not reflect the whole story.
Because of the social stigma of rape, many rape incidents are not reported. This means that the number of rapes, in reality, is much higher.
The Daily Star compiled all the rape incidents that were reported in the newspaper from January 2011 to June 2015.
From the study, it was found that 52 percent of the victims were raped or violated by an individual male. Thirty-seven percent of the girls or women were gang-raped and 11 percent faced rape attempts but managed to escape or was saved.
The study also found that girls between 2 to 19 years were the most vulnerable.
According to it, 80 percent of the rapists are known to the victims.
ATTACKED WHEN ALONE
More than half of the rape victims, 52 percent, were schoolgirls. Twenty-seven percent of them were raped on their ways to and from school. In many of these cases the rapists attacked the girls walking unescorted.
Absence of parents at home can also make these girls victims to rape. Twenty-two percent of these girls have been violated when they were left alone at their homes.
LURED TO BE RAPED
A common trick is to lure younger victims with chocolates, candy, toys, books and similar stuffs. Teenage girls, on the other hand, are mostly lured with promises of jobs and romantic relationships.
MOST RAPISTS KNOWN TO VICTIMS
The study also discovered that 45 percent of the rapists are neighbors or men who live in the same locality as the victims. These men are mostly known to the victims.
Rape by romantic partners made up 11 percent of the cases of rapes and seven percent of the rapists have been teachers or private tutors.
Of the victims, 33 percent were taken to a field or an orchard and raped. And, 30 percent were raped at the rapists’ houses, according to the study.