WARNING: Graphic Images
Incest, the least reported form of sexual abuse, exists worldwide. Even when incest is disclosed to other family members, a family may want to keep the abuse secret from society at large, in the name of so called “honor”. There can, also, be governmental reluctance to investigate matters considered of a highly personal nature.
This leaves victims without recourse.
Pakistan – Human Rights Violations
Pakistan is just one country where these factors come into play . The UN estimates that 36% of girls and 29% of boys in Pakistan experience sexual abuse. An estimated 90% of street children have been sexually abused .
The situation is complicated by the fact that women have so little power over their own lives, and so few options other than staying in an abusive marriage. Mothers are, in effect, as trapped as their children.
Despite this (or because of it), both mothers and fathers have been known to participate in honor killings.
As long ago as 1989, Zein and Maria Isa, a Pakistani couple living in St. Louis, jointly murdered their daughter, a high school senior, for taking a part-time job at Wendy’s, and dating a boy of whom they did not approve . Though the couple claimed Tina had attacked them, this was proven untrue when it was revealed the murder had been recorded. Zein Isa had been under surveillance as a possible terrorist, and a listening device installed in the couple’s home.
Little has changed in Pakistan. Earlier this month, 18 y.o. Zeenat Rafique was tied to a bed, then set afire by her mother and brother . Zeenat’s crime was that she had married without her family’s permission.
Last month, a 15-member Pakistani tribal council directed that the 16 y.o. girl who had helped another couple elope, also, be burned to death. The killing was punishment for what the council viewed as “irreparable damage to the village’s reputation” .
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan over 500 such honor killings occurred last year.
Honor is variously defined as respect, recognition, and esteem. Nothing described here is remotely deserving of respect, recognition, or esteem.
In the Judeo-Christian view, honor is God’s alone (1 Chron. 29: 11; 1 Tim. 1: 17; Rev. 5: 13). We honor God by leading godly lives, committed to His service (Col. 3: 17).
None of us, therefore, has any reason to be puffed up. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5: 5). We are, in fact, instructed to honor “all people” (1 Peter 2: 17) and others above ourselves (Rom. 12: 10).
One who honors the world, and the things of the world, makes himself an enemy of God’s (James 4: 4). Worldly honor is, in any case, fleeting (Eccles. 1: 14).
The contrast could not be more striking.
 Public Radio International (PRI), “Pakistani children face high rates of incest, receive little support from family, state”, 4/18/12, http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-04-18/pakistani-children-face-high-rates-incest-receive-little-support-family-state.
 YouTube, “Pakistan’s Hidden Shame” (Full Documentary), 9/3/15, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNxQhWXbDdM.
 NY Daily News, “Justice Story: ‘Die, my daughter, die!’ An old world honor killing in St. Louis” by David Krajicek, 11/10/13, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/justice-story/justice-story-honor-killing-article-1.1510125.
 CNN, “Pakistani teen was still breathing when set on fire, report says” by Adeel Raja, Sophia Safi, and Holly Yan, 6/9/16, http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/08/middleeast/mother-sets-pakistani-woman-on-fire-police-say/index.html.
 Business Insider, “A 16-year-old-girl was burned alive by a tribal council in Pakistan for helping a young couple elope” by Jibran Ahmed (Reuters), 5/5/16, http://www.businessinsider.com/honor-killing-in-pakistan-2016-5.
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