I am an A-level candidate currently studying in Dhaka.
As a citizen of this country, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to witness all the horrific incidents of rape and molestation taking place around us.
I am feeling ashamed for being a man. I am wondering, what if my female peers feel unsafe with me now?
It might get awkward with my female cousins as well, we might start feeling uncomfortable around each other.
If a group of men break into my house and attack my mother, I might be completely helpless to stop them.
Even when I will become an adult, I might not be able to ensure my family's safety.
The society has decayed so much that women need to think twice before steping outdoors in fear of getting assaulted by a group of men.
These demons disguised as men have created such a bad impression on everyone that one day even our dear ones would hesitate to keep in touch with us.
The feeling of insecurity is increasing among teenagers.
Some of my peers are expressing their thoughts in social media while some are remaining quiet. Perhaps they are not comfortable to open up to others.
Two days ago, a junior class mate make an IGTV video where he expressed his concerns and worries about his future, and the insecurities about his family.
He shared an information mentioned in media that during the pandemic, on an average, four women were raped every day in Bangladesh.
He is fearful that if in future, he has a daughter, it would be difficult for him to protect her and his entire family.
According to him, if there are no visible changes in us or the society, young students like us may be compelled to leave the country.
I agree with him and I can relate to his fear.
Here are some of the cases that recently came to our attention.
A 30-year-old mentally handicapped woman was raped by a 40-year-old man called Shahinur Rahman, while she was paying a visit to her brother's house.
A 14-year-old was raped by her home tutor Ruhul Amin Rubel.
A fourth-grade student was kidnapped and raped for 25 days by Mithun Sawdagar.
Three men Rafiz Uddin, Sanwar and Shaon aged 38, 34 and 25 respectively raped a housewife in Jamalpur. The husband was beaten to death when he came to rescue his wife.
Some of these rape cases also involve blackmailing. In Noakhali, a woman was assaulted in the most abusive ways possible by a group of men. They filmed the whole incident and later released the footage online.
A 13-year-old's rapist was charged Tk72,000 as a "fine" for his atrocious act, this later compelled the girl to end her life.
One might be able to deduce the state of the innocent in the country form the above mentioned cases.
We also hear news of Madrassa teachers raping their students inside hostels.
Teachers are supposed to enlighten us with knowledge and guide us to stay away from wrong things, but in these cases, they showed us the opposite.
Despite all these incidents, there are some people who will always take the side of the criminal and blame the victim.
They blame the women by saying that it was their fault, their dresses were improper, they were going home alone from workplace, they were out late at night and so on.
Such nonsensical logic, or rather lack of logic, is frustrating.
Even after continuously explaining to these people that whatever the situation was, it was always the rapists' fault and we can not insult or abuse the victims, they simply refuse to understand.
"Rape" is a heavy word. It is not a word which belongs to our everyday vocabulary, the action itself is not something which takes place in a civilised culture.
The way the lockdown was imposed when the pandemic began in the country, perhaps it is time for women to go under yet another lockdown to save themselves.
Amid the pandemic and other disasters that took place this year, this is another issue we are facing that needed to be strongly dealt with for a very long time.
According to media sources, from January till September this year, there were about 900 cases of rape in Bangladesh. Some of the victims committed suicide, some were murdered after being raped.
This only indicates the tip of the iceberg as perhaps hundreds or thousands of cases remain unreported and do not even make it to the front page of newspapers.
As a result, they do not receive the attention of law enforcers and are simply remain ignored.
Ahnaf Shahrier Rahman is a student.