In the past few decades, rape in Pakistan has become a serious issue. It is such a huge problem that the United States is not doing anything to help. The main reason the US is not helping is that many people do not know how serious this problem is. It is difficult to get statistics on abuse and rape from Pakistan. Since their government is very religion based, they do not always treat it as a crime. Pakistani people tend to be very religious, therefore they go along with the government and do not see rape the way we do (Ashfaq).
Many rapes in Pakistan go unpunished, thanks to a set of religious based rules put in place in 1979 called the Hudood ordinances. These laws make it legal to harshly restrict and punish women for small crimes or even sins. One particularly restrictive law legalizes intense punishment to women for Zina (adultery and fornication), Zina-Bil-Jabr (rape), and Qazf (accusing one of rape). This means that if a minor or married woman reports a rape, they could be stoned or whipped to death, imprisoned, forced to pay a fine, or all of these combined (Ashfaq). According to section eight of the ordinances, if one wants to prove a rape, they must have “…at least four Muslim adult male witnesses, about whom the court is satisfied… and who are truthful persons and abstain from major sins, give evidence as eyewitnesses of the act of penetration necessary to the offense…” (Flanders). This law alone makes it extremely difficult for one to prove their rape, and yet there are eight more.
There are thousands of rapes in Pakistan every day. Most recent statistics show that between 1997 and 1988 the percentage of women arrested for Zina went up 3000% (Ashfaq). Hundreds of women per year spend time in prison for this same reason. Sixteen-year-old Safia Bibi was raped brutally by two men. “When she reported the incident she was sentenced to three years in prison, fifteen lashes with a whip, and a fine for Zina, despite her family’s efforts to free her” (Hassan).
Many times the victim is confused and alone, like Zafran Bibi (unrelated to Safia Bibi). Bibi was raped by her brother-in-law and became pregnant with his child in 2002. When she went to report the rape, she was surprised to be arrested and thrown in a cell. Bibi was convicted of Zina and sentenced to be stoned to death in a matter of months. Thankfully and very luckily, she was acquitted and released before her execution (Ashfaq).
Because of stories like this, many women are too afraid to report their rape immediately, like eighteen-year-old Angelina. In the middle of the night, three men (that were upset at Angelina’s father for allowing Christian children into a primarily Hindu school, where their children went) broke into her family’s house, raped her, then tried to kidnap her. Angelina’s father woke up and stopped them from taking her. These men continued to follow her around for months taunting her and bragging to others about raping her. Angelina became severely depressed...