'I can't sleep': How Pakistanis reacted to the horrific Motorway rape — and the gross victim blaming
Two men robbed and gang raped a woman in front of her children at gunpoint this week while she waited for help after her car broke down on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway.
The woman was travelling from Lahore to Gujranwala, but the incident has struck a chord throughout the country, with every day bringing reports of incidents of violence against women.
As usual, some people couldn't resist pointing fingers at the victim, blaming her for the crime committed against her — including Lahore's police chief himself — without acknowledging the sheer trauma rape survivors go through after the fact when it comes to reporting the rape and lodging a criminal complaint.
The violent incident has people on edge
One man decided this was the right time to give women tips on how to avoid assault...
... but women weren't having it.
Please take this energy elsewhere
Some called for the perpetrators to be publicly hanged, and even trended hashtags for it (complete with graphic images)
But others pointed out it won't quite work
Meanwhile, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Omar Shaikh blamed the Motorway rape incident on the victim, saying, "I am surprised by the fact that the woman was travelling alone on the Motorway at night. She should have taken the GT Road route which has population on both sides." He added that the victim should have checked the fuel in her car before travelling as there is no petrol station on the Motorway.
The officer's comments were promptly condemned for blaming the victim and putting the onus of preventing a crime on the victim instead of the perpetrators or law enforcement authorities.
Some called for the Lahore police chief's removal — or at least some reforms
Unfortunately, CCPO Shaikh's remarks reflect a view common in our society