Over half of rape victims in 2019 teenagers: Odhikar

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:46, Mar 07,2020


Rights group Odhikar said rape incidents became rampant in Bangladesh and the number of teenaged girls among rape victims was more than double than women in 2019.

The rights group came up with their statistics in a statement ahead of International Women’s Day to be observed on March 8 in the country as elsewhere across the globe.

The Odhikar expressed its deep concern, as women in Bangladesh are subjected to unchecked, widespread gender-based violence.

Odhikar recorded 1,080 rape incidents reported between January and December 2019.

Of those incidents, women became victims in 330 cases while 737 girls below the age of 18 were raped in other incidents.  Odhikar said that the age of 13 victims were not reported.

Of the women, 150 were victims of rape by more than a person while 10 were killed after being raped and two other victims committed suicide.

Among the 737 girls, 137 were victims of gang rape, 32 were killed after being raped, and five committed suicide. 

Furthermore, 149 women and girls were also victims of attempted rape.

Many women faced physical and mental abuse and even death in the hands of their husbands and in- laws, over illegal demands of dowry, the report said.

According to their compilation, 48 women were killed and 55 were physically abused in 2019 for refusing to pay dowry.

The report said that 189 women and children were victims of sexual violence in the year. Of  them,  14 committed  suicide, six were killed, 21 were injured, 34 were assaulted, two were abducted and 112 were victims of sexual harassment. 

Domestic violence against women remained a routine phenomenon and forms of discrimination against them are prevalent in every segment of the society, the report added.

Many  of  these  women  do  not  seek  justice,  as  they  do  not  file  cases  fearing  social  stigma,  a lengthy legal process, and  a culture of impunity, it said.

Women are also facing sexual harassment in public transport and work places, it said.

The report alleged that the ruling party leaders and activists were involved in many incidents of violence against women.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email