We need Stringent Laws on Sexual Abuse in Bhutan

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We need Stringent Laws on Sexual Abuse in Bhutan

This petition made change with 15 supporters!
Tandin Wangmo started this petition to The Prime Minister of Bhutan and

Dear Fellow Bhutanese

I listened with tears flowing freely down my cheeks to several women following the 25th Nov event on “Elimination of Violence against Women”. These women told me stories of their childhood when they were repeatedly raped by uncles, cousin brothers and close friends of parents. The men continue to live normal married lives blissfully while these beautiful young women still have nightmares, suffer from anxiety, depressions and other Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. They are still living with the dirty “little” secret that they have been told to keep. These women will never get justice  but we can protect our children and young girls from being sexually abused with very Stringent Laws in place and empowered enforcement agencies. 

Our current laws are "good" and humane but does not stop people from sexually abusing children. There are more reports of child sexual abuse flowing in, and poor rates of prosecution. Even if convicted, the prison terms are not enough. This HAS to change if we are to reduce sexual abuse of children in Bhutan. We can and we must do this. 

I need the support of those who believe that the Laws on Sexual Abuse in Bhutan must be stringent. You can support by becoming a volunteer in your locality to collect the signatures on a form. First volunteer(s) from 20 Dzongkhags will form the team to submit the following petition to the Hon'ble Prime Minister on a given date. If you believe in this petition and want to join the team, please drop your name, number, email Id and Dzongkhag here or on the following pages

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This is the copy of the petition:

The Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan

Thimphu

Subject: STRINGENT LAWS on SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN IN BHUTAN

 Dear Prime Minister

I listened with tears flowing freely down my cheeks to several women following the 25th Nov event on “Elimination of Violence against Women”. These women told me stories of their childhood when they were repeatedly raped by uncles, cousin brothers and close friends of parents. The men continue to live normal married lives blissfully while these beautiful young women still have nightmares, suffer from anxiety, depressions and other Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. They are still living with the dirty “little” secret that they have been told to keep. These women will never get justice but you can give them hope for a better future for their children.

On 25th Nov you committed yourself to the cause of “Eliminating Violence against Women”, in particular the sexual abuse of children. You committed to this cause as a surgeon, a loving father and a husband. You gave us the HOPE that things will get better for us in Bhutan.

This is an earnest plea from all the survivors of sexual abuse, the would-be victims, the parents, families and concerned citizens who believe it is time to see more stringent rules against rape/sexual abuse, molestation and harassment. If Bhutan is ever going to protect our women and children fiercely, it is now- when we have a Prime Minister who understands all the injuries, the trauma and the heartbreaks. It is now when we have a Prime Minister who has served the vulnerable communities as a dedicated surgeon.  It is now when we have a government where almost half the cabinet has a background in public health.

Dear Prime Minister, Why is it that for statutory rape, the rapist is given a sentence of a maximum of 15 years while an innocent child’s life is going to be marred for as long as the child lives? The entire family will have to take the shame, the stigma and the trauma to their graves while the perpetrator can live a free life after 15 years.  If a five year old is raped today, the rapist is out of prison latest by the time she turns 20 (considering he got the maximum term), and she has face the monster again in the same community. Would she be living a normal life then without any trauma?

Why is it that the rape of over 12 year old is more acceptable than the rape of an under 12 year old? As the child grows older, does she become more “r-a-p-e-a-b-l-e”?

Why is it that custodial rape is only a 3rd degree felony with a sentence of 5-9 years? Because a man has the custody of a child, is it deemed a bit acceptable for the man to abuse the ward sexually?

Are today’s children not tomorrow’s leaders?

Dear Prime Minister

This is an earnest plea to the government to revisit all our laws related to sexual abuse and to ensure that the laws are so strict that no one can ever even dare to think of committing such heinous crimes against our Children. The very thought of the laws should send shivers down the spines of anyone who has the thoughts and make an example of any one who dares to commit the crime.  

Please ensure that the investigating and enforcement agencies are so empowered that NO ONE can escape from being prosecuted.

Please do not ignore this plea and say, “we have enough adequate policies in place”, least it should become “an unfortunate part of our culture”. Please do not say, “let us take personal responsibilities and commit to protect our women and children” because there are people out there who takes sadistic pleasures from harming the innocent and the vulnerable. I do not believe they are sick, nor are they animals. I believe this as a result of learning from the behaviors of their elders and this MUST STOP.  

Will we put up with this because the enduring silence of the children and families who suffer this fate allows our feathers to remain unruffled? Or keeps our delicate sensibilities unaffected? Does it allow us to stay complacent anymore? Today if we let things be as it is, we would be digging our heads in the sand.  

Give us the confidence to put our faith in a justice system that is not tolerant of such sickening human-rights violations. As the year 2019 comes closer, we hope that you will shine the light brighter at the end of the dark tunnel.  Make 2019 a year to go down in Bhutanese history as the year that the government put in place one of the most strict laws and regulations on Sexual Abuse. Make 2019 a GIFT of LIFE for all those women and children who may be saved from being sexually abused, and a GIFT of HOPE to all those who are suffering in silence.

“More than the past, the future is more important. I swallowed my tears because I am not alone. I know that well, I am so thankful, Hope, there is Hope”.

 

Most Hopefully

Tandin Wangmo joined by all those who believe that Bhutanese Children need better protection. Signed and attached

 

 

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