WOMEN SPEAK | Dear CCPO Lahore! don’t tell us when to go out, do YOUR job instead!
The women of Pakistan are speaking aggressively against the victim blaming!
On Tuesday night, two men raped a mother of two in front of her children at gunpoint while she was waiting for help on the motorway. After that, they stole her purse, which contained Rs100,000 in cash, a bracelet, the car registration papers, and three ATM cards.
Reports state that the woman’s car stalled after she crossed the toll plaza on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway because she ran out of fuel. The terrified woman called a relative in Gujranwala and the motorway police helpline for help. The latter said that they had not been able to take action as the incident did not occur in the Motorway Police’s limits, while the former left home to reach her location only to find the woman blood-stained and terrified.
However, the woman’s suffering did not end there because then came the Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO), Umar Sheikh. Umar Sheikh is the lead investigator of the heinous motorway incident. On Thursday, while speaking to a private television channel, he questioned the victim’s choices and said:
I am surprised that the woman, a mother of three traveling alone at night, chose to travel through Ring Road instead of taking the GT Road that was relatively “safer”. If she had decided to travel via motorway, she should have checked her fuel tank because no petrol pumps were on that route.
This is CCPO Umar Sheikh of the esteemed Punjab Police, for whom one IG has already been let go. This victim blamer is supposed to protect us? pic.twitter.com/yoeZc7kBI0
— Zebunnisa Burki (@zburki) September 10, 2020
Pakistanis women are not going to take the victim-blaming nicely. CCPO’s statement enraged many activists and social media users. Here is what Pakistani women have to say:
A woman gang raped infront of minors and CCPO LAHORE very conveniently blamed the victim! Wow.
Hang your heads in shame.
— khadija siddiqi (@khadijasid751) September 10, 2020
CCPO Omar Sheikh was appointed by the govt to make an arrest and the first thing he said "first of all it's her mistake for choosing the wrong route to travel with 3 kids and not checking the petrol before leaving for Lahore" that's the main reason rape victims don't come forward
— Rumpoptarts (@theodahad_) September 10, 2020
CCPO Lahore must be removed for his callous remarks blaming the #MotorwayRape victim. If a top police officer can openly engage in victim blaming imagine how junior policemen treat rape survivors. THIS is why women don’t report sexual crimes. #RemoveCCPOLahore
— Ailia Zehra (@AiliaZehra) September 10, 2020
This country is a terrible place for women. No matter who you are -no matter where you are from-you can be killed for honour, harassed for your choice of profession, trolled online, raped, abused, neglected & judged only because you are a woman.
— Banari Mengal (@BanariMengal) September 10, 2020
Omar Shiekh, CPO Lhd's blaming of the victims is shocking and condemnable. This is the patriarchal institutional mindset that risks women's lives. By blaming the victim, he endorsed the act of rape. We demand Punjab Govt. must remove him for his post immediately #RemoveCPOlahore
— farzana bari (@drfarzanabari) September 10, 2020
Shireen Mazari and Hina Rabbani Khar also condemned the CCPO’s words:
For an officer to effectively blame a woman for being gang raped by saying she should have taken the GT Road or question as to why she went out in the night with her children is unacceptable & have taken up this issue. Nothing can ever rationalise the crime of rape. That's it.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) September 10, 2020
The shock, horror & condemnations of such a barbaric incident will nt take away the trauma or life changing damage to the victim & kids. But for the CCPO to blame the victim for taking the journey is criminal. Is the govt responsible for the safety of its citizens from 9-5 only.
— Hina R Khar (@HinaRKhar) September 10, 2020
STOP Being an Enabler!
CCPO’s statement makes it pretty clear that even our ‘protectors’ are only interested in blaming the victim. A cat, a newborn baby, a 5-year-old girl, a mother, and so many more have been sexually abused. However, it will still be the question of HER clothes, HER personality, choices SHE made, time SHE was out or location SHE was at. People will always find a way to blame the victim while the rapists continue to roam freely.
Why didn’t you scream?
Why didn’t you fight?
Why didn’t you report it then?
Why are you bringing it up now?
Why won’t you ask politely?
Why won’t you suffer silently?
Why are you upsetting our values?
Why won’t you accept our culture?
Why were you dressed like that?
— Reem Khurshid (@ReemKhurshid) September 10, 2020
What are your thoughts on this? Please share with us in the comment section below.