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Rape Survivors Struggle To Be Heard

"The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath," she said.

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was a 19 year old student in Bangladesh. In March 2019, she was sexually assaulted by her principal, Siraj ud-Daula, of the Madrassa she studied in. She was burnt alive, on the rooftop of her madrassa, as she refused to retrieve her complaint of being sexually assaulted. In April 2019, she succumbed to her burns which covered over 80% of her body.

Section 155(4) of the Evidence Act 1872, of Bangladesh’s law states “when a man is prosecuted for rape or and attempt to ravish, it may be shown that the prosecutrix was of generally immoral character.” This means that the character of a survivor of sexual assault, who has reported the crime, can be disected and scrutinized, and then be used against the survivor’s case in the court of law. In the year 2018, there were more than 700 cases of rape were reported. Survivors are often deterred from reporting because due to many social, legal, and institutional factors.

Many women like Nusrat, chose to stand up against injustice, in a country where survivors of sexual assault are humiliated, threatened, harrassed, and attacked both by society and the law. We need to hear Nusrat’s story to be aware of the world around us and to be supportive of those the law isn’t supportive of. And most importantly to create social change every voice counts, including yours and mine.

Headline - Al Jazeera

Check out this link to learn more about Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s story -

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