A minor Christian girl was raped

A Christian minor girl student of 5th grade was sexually abused by two pastors. The incident happened five months ago and she was medically examined on May 30th, 2023 from District Head Quarter Hospital Kasur, after a medical examination the doctor issued the report that she was subjected to rape. Police registered FIR under offence 354 of the Pakistan Penal Code but the offence of rape was not added in the FIR.

CLAAS was informed about this incident on June 15, 2023 and on June 17, 2023, the team visited the victim girl named Merry who is 11 years old and was studying in 5th grade.

During her statement the victim girl shared that she was sexually abused by a local pastor Emmanuel aged about 60, is married and living in Lahore, and one another pastor Dawood who is 22 years old from Karachi. Her mother was also involved in this matter. According to the facts Merry with her family, father Bashir Masih, mother Mafia Bibi, and four siblings were living in a rented house in Kot Paka Qilla District Kasur. The house consisted of two rooms one for Pastors and the other room was in the use of the girl’s family. Mafia Bibi the mother of the victim girl cooked food for the Pastors and kept the house clean. In the meantime, Mafia Bibi established an extramarital relationship with Pastor Emmanuel.

About three or four months ago, the victim girl came to know about the relationship of her mother with Pastor Emmanuel. The pastor threatened to kill her if she told to anyone about their relationship. Merry disclosed that the pastor started to rape her even in the presence of her mother. Once pastor Dawood also raped her in her mother’s presence. Both pastors have sexually abused her and her mother frequently. The victim girl was harassed and afraid due to which she did not share it with her father or any other family member. In the month of May 2023, her father saw her mother with Pastor Emmanuel in objectionable condition, upon which a quarrel between her father, mother, and pastor was started.

Pastor left the house and shifted to Lahore whereas her mother left the house and went to her parents’ house. Later on, the pastor was dismissed from his church. The girl was living with her father and siblings who often complained that she felt pain in her body. Her father tried to know what happened to her but she did not share about sexual abuse. The pain was increasing day by day and the father decided for her medical checkup. On May 30, 2023, she told her father about the whole incident which was happened to her then her father took her to the hospital and the concerned doctor issued her examination report which confirmed rape with her. Her father filed the complaint at the local police station and police registered the case FIR No.877/23, offence under section 354 of the Pakistan Penal Code (354 assaults or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty. Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both) at police station B. Division Kasur but the offence of rape was not added in the FIR. She added that on June 15, 2023, while she was sleeping a man tore away her dress, she awake up and started to shout. Her father came to see her and followed the man but cannot be caught him. After this, they left their rented house and shifted to her paternal uncle’s house. She further shared that her father is a painter and her mother was a housewife. She has two sisters and two brothers named Dawood 13 years, Aster 8 years, Alisha 7 years and Nathan 6 years. She was studying at Holy City School Mouchi Pura Kasur and also doing all household work. After this incident, she and her all sibling left their school.

After hearing from her, CLAAS legal advisor advised her for giving a statement before the Magistrate court so that truth can be come on record. The girl agreed to record her statement. Her father and other relative are very supportive with her. On June 23, 2023 CLAAS lawyer moved an application before the Magistrate Court Kasur for recording the statement of victim girl; the application fixed for June 26, 2023 for the statement. On July 11, Merry’s statement was recorded. After her statement section 376 (rape) was added in the FIR. After that the accused Emmanuel filed his pre-arrest bail in the court of Session Judge Kasur which is under proceedings.

Child abuse is a problem that plagues societies all over the world. It has many different forms, i.e. child marriages, child labor, etc. but sexual abuse is one of the most devastating.

Sexual abuse of a child can have lifelong consequences. The physical and emotional damage can be immense and children are also at risk psychologically. Further depression, worthlessness, and difficulty trusting people are also affecting them. The effects of child sexual abuse can be difficult to overcome, but it is possible with professional help and support from loved ones.

In Pakistan, the majority of these cases go unreported due to shame, fear, or threats from the abuser. As a result, abusers often go unpunished. This contributes to a culture of violence in which children are seen as property and their rights are not respected.