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Letter To the Editor

Stop abusing mentally ill women

Published : Monday, 14 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 138

Dear Sir

We do not want a legal system that keeps rapists or abusers of mentally ill women untouched, or stops the victim from seeking justice or even filing a case. We need to think how these individuals become further insecure because of the existing laws, and the state acts against them when they need care and support. The government claims that there are enough shelter homes for such people; but why, then, were these women not taken to those homes and given proper care and shelter? Crimes like rape and sexual abuse of mentally ill women are almost always hidden in plain sight as the perpetrators have power and control over their victims; mentally ill women rarely report such incidents or come forward to seek help because of legal barriers and fear of the perpetrators; and the majority of the people in our society do not think that rape and sexual abuse of these women deserve any attention.

These crimes are "silent" in nature and difficult to address as the existing legal system is not willing to listen to the victims even when they know the perpetrators, because their testimonies are not accepted as credible. The society in general also does not acknowledge the plight of these helpless women who suffer in silence.

Minhaz Mustofa
Dhaka University

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