Terrible atrocities often go unnoticed, showing "just how barbaric a society we have become", Pakistani daily said Monday as it expressed shock over sexual assault on children
The News International said in an editorial: "Terrible atrocities regularly unfold around us and often go virtually unnoticed. They remind us of just how barbaric a society we have become, where morality is copious in theory, but in practice, almost altogether absent."
Calling it "shocking", it said statistics made public by the NGO War Against Rape (War) indicate that this year the average age of rape victims in Karachi has fallen to 13, as compared to 18 last year.
"Sexual abuse is most often inflicted by individuals whom the victims know and trust. Worse still is the fact that only a very small number of the perpetrators are punished for their crime."
Statistics show that 138 cases of rape were reported by hospitals but only 41 police cases were filed.
"The non-cooperative attitude of the police is also blamed in large part for these disproportionate figures."
It pointed out that last year, there were just 38 convictions for the 2,252 cases that reached the courts. "These grim statistics can only embolden the perpetrators of such crimes."
The editorial went on to say that over 20 percent of families, in order to escape the social stigma that accompanies sex crimes, have chosen to leave their area of residence after a member of the family has been sexually assaulted.
"Sexual abuse will not decline while it is tolerated and allowed to flourish due to the failings of both law enforcement officials and the courts," it said.