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More insecure when asking for justice

In most cases of sexual violence, the victim-relatives are in panic when the accused is released on bail and subjected to influence, pressure and temptation.

Okhaldhunga – Last March, a complaint was registered with the police that the principal of a secondary school in Molung rural municipality had sexually abused female students. The police took a complaint from two female students and arrested the accused and started a case of child sexual abuse. After spending 24 days in jail, the district court released the accused on bail.

Since the arrest of Prof., the behavior of the other teachers of the school towards the victim girl has changed. They were subjected to many insults. Even the school issued a statement and defended the professor. It was the female teacher of the school who abused the female students. In the annual examination of class 9th, he was kept isolated and included behind other students. They are unable to study in the same school due to the behavior of the teacher. But there is no possibility to change school while giving SEE. The district-based rights workers have already informed the police and administration about this matter.

Three months ago, a government employee was arrested for sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl of Sunkoshi rural municipality-10. The girl’s family was under the protection of the accused, he even allowed the girl’s father to spend some money. When the accused was released on bail, the victim’s father started beating the victim’s mother. The victim’s mother says that the husband beat me up after the accused said, ‘I am sued because of your wife’. When the girl became unsafe, her relatives took her to Kathmandu.
Last year, a complaint of a 16-year-old was registered with the police in Siddicharan Municipality-11 on charges of child molestation. The accused was arrested near the house. After the court released her on bail, the victim’s family created such mental stress that the girl became a victim of depression. “I had to be given depression medication,” said Pemdoma Sherpa, president of the Changeable Women’s Organization, which is running a women’s shelter.
These are representative incidents only. In most of the cases of child sexual abuse, the accused is released on bail and after the release, they are subjected to influence, pressure and temptation until the decision is made, so the victims and their relatives are insecure. Women’s rights activists say that because of this, they are also ‘hostile’. “Because they have to stay together until later in the society, some people change their statements out of fear and others out of compulsion,” said Vimala Dhamala of the Rural Women’s Awakening Network. Letting anyone out on bail is the main cause of this problem. If the decision is taken soon, this problem will be reduced.

The District Advocacy Network affiliated with civil organizations in the district has submitted a notice to the district administration and the police on Friday about such incidents. DSP Deepak Bahadur KC of the district police said that after hearing that the victims are in more trouble, they are following up on the spot. He said that he had recently met the victims of four incidents and consulted them about their problems and complaints. Attorney Ramhari Sharma Kafle of the District Public Prosecutor’s Office said that in cases where the punishment is less than three years, even if bail is granted, imprisonment may be imposed in the judgment. “If the accused is released on bail and gives any kind of pressure or influence to the victim, the victim can file a complaint of being unsafe,” he said, “after that, legal action can be taken.”

Attorney Sharma said that in coordination with the police, administration and the local level, the teacher can be transferred for some time regarding the problem faced by the female students due to the accused teacher in the school.

According to the data of the district police, a total of 18 complaints have been filed in 077/78, 5 in 078/79 and 7 in 079/80. In the last three financial years, 95 cases were registered under the headings of forced labor, forced labor industry, unnatural sex and child sexual abuse related to sexual violence. Only 28 complaints were made in 079/80. Most of them are extortion. Out of 95 cases of sexual violence, 50 victims are minors.

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