Horrifying story of motorway gang rape shocks Pakistan

The Lahore-Sialkot motorway gang rape victim breaks silence. Pakistani women demand protection and justice

The gang rape of a woman by two ‘robbers’ in front of her children after her car broke down on Lahore-Sialkot motorway has shocked Pakistan. The attack drew widespread condemnation on social media, with leading activists demanding that those involved be hanged in public.

Prime Minister Imran Khan office said protection of women is a first priority and responsibility of the government, adding that “such brutality and bestiality cannot be allowed in any civilized society.”

Pakistani police said they have detained 15 people for questioning on Thursday in search of the two assailants who also stole cash and jewelry from the woman before fleeing the scene. None of the 15 was thought to be an assailant, police said.

Lahore police chief Umar Sheikh drew nationwide condemnation after he blamed the victim for travelling alone with her two children after midnight without checking the fuel.

The terrified victim has broken her silence and shared the details with journalist Fereeha Idris, which the TV anchor shared on Twitter.

The woman was at a family friend’s home who advised her not to leave at that hour but she had decided to travel finding it safe. After running out of fuel, she immediately called the motorway police. She locked her windows and doors as she waited for help.

After an hour or so, instead of police, two men appeared out of nowhere with “long sticks and heavy stones” and “smashed the car windows.”

At that point “she was only concerned for her children and trying with all her might to save and protect them. They beat up her children severely. The children were bleeding and so was she.”

Fereeha described the horrifying scene as “family being dragged like sacrificial animals to the altar.” When the motorway police finally reached, they found her car with blood and smashed windows and informed the local police.

When her family came, they found the woman “badly bruised, swollen feet and bleeding head and so were the children”. The woman was “scared like a chicken”, shivering and “refused to even recognise her friend and family.”

They were “all muddy and completely terrorized. They did not talk for hours. The children were numb” it was shared. We told her to be strong for her children or children would never recover “, said the family friend.

Fereeha demanded in her tweet that “instead of expressing ‘utter surprise’, that why the woman was there in the first place, the CCPO Lahore should have worried why his police force failed to protect a mother. Today, all women in Pakistan are feeling unsafe. That is a failure of the Police.”

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