Moral Policing

Moral policing of women by rapists is a deeply disturbing phenomenon. It refers to the attempt by rapists to justify their actions by suggesting that the victim's behavior, dress, or lifestyle somehow warranted the assault.

Moral policing of women by rapists is a deeply disturbing phenomenon. It refers to the attempt by rapists to justify their actions by suggesting that the victim’s behavior, dress, or lifestyle somehow warranted the assault. This is a completely unacceptable and reprehensible way of thinking. It is important to note that rape is a violent crime, and the responsibility for it lies solely with the perpetrator. No one deserves to be raped, and no one’s behavior or choices can justify such a heinous act. The idea of moral policing is often used by rapists to shift the blame away from themselves and onto the victim. This is a form of victim blaming, and it only serves to perpetuate the harmful attitudes and behaviors that lead to sexual violence. It is important to understand that victim blaming is not only untrue, but it is also a harmful and damaging attitude that can further traumatize survivors of sexual violence. It can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame, and can discourage survivors from seeking the help and support they need.

The Bilqis Bano case is a tragic example of how moral policing can lead to horrific acts of violence against women. In 2002, during the Gujarat riots in India, Bilqis Bano, a Muslim woman, was raped and her family was killed by a group of men who were motivated by communal and religious tensions. The attack on Bilqis Bano was not only an act of violence, but it was also an attempt to control and police the behavior of women in the Muslim community. The attackers sought to punish Bilqis Bano for what they perceived as her deviant behavior, and they used rape and murder as a means of asserting their power and control. The case highlights the dangers of moral policing, and the ways in which it can lead to violence and discrimination against women.

The Motorway rape incident in Pakistan is another tragic example of how moral policing can lead to victim blaming and further traumatize survivors of sexual violence. In September 2020, a woman was raped by two men on a motorway in Lahore, Pakistan. Following the incident, there was widespread public outrage and protests demanding justice for the victim.

However, instead of focusing on the perpetrators of the crime, many individuals in Pakistan engaged in victim blaming, suggesting that the victim was somehow responsible for the assault because she was travelling alone at night or because of her clothing. This kind of victim blaming is a form of moral policing, where individuals seek to control and regulate the behavior of women based on their own beliefs about what is “appropriate” or “acceptable.” Similarly, recent case of a rape in F9 Park in Islamabad is another example where rapists themselves advised the girl to not leave home in evening.

Instead of victim blaming, it is essential to focus on holding perpetrators of sexual violence accountable for their actions and to provide support and resources for survivors. Rapists must be held accountable for their actions through the criminal justice system. They must face the full force of the law and be punished for their crimes. In addition to legal consequences, rapists must also be required to participate in programs aimed at rehabilitating their behavior and preventing future offenses. These programs should focus on changing the attitudes and beliefs that lead to sexual violence, as well as providing education on healthy relationships.

It is also important for society to support survivors of sexual violence by providing access to resources such as counseling, medical care, and legal advocacy. This can help survivors to heal from the trauma of the assault and move forward in their lives. Finally, it is essential that we work to prevent sexual violence from occurring in the first place. This includes education on consent and healthy relationships, challenging harmful attitudes and beliefs about gender and sexuality, and creating a culture that value and respects all individuals. Ultimately, it is only through a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach that we can hope to prevent and address sexual violence, and hold rapists accountable for their actions.

Pakistan needs to strengthen its legal framework to provide better protection for women. This includes introducing harsher punishments for crimes against women, expediting trials for such cases, and ensuring the effective implementation of existing laws. Communities need to be actively engaged in the effort to protect women. This includes raising awareness about the importance of women’s rights, creating safe spaces for women, and involving men in the conversation to promote gender equality.

Muskan Moazzam
Muskan Moazzam
Student of National Defense University, Islamabad , Pakistan.