In the ten years from 2008, the incidence of child rape quadrupled as Nepal transitioned from being a very conservative Hindu monarchy to becoming a secular republic. We believe the growth has also been fuelled by the ease of access to pornography through smartphones in tandem with unhealthy male attitudes within certain elements of Nepalese society.
The police have been at best ineffectual, often complicit in brokering “deals” at village level that see rapists paying “compensation” to their victims who are often from the poorest lower caste families. At worst, they have been guilty of malfeasance, deliberately destroying evidence and, under political or financial pressure, framing the wrong individuals.
Conviction rates are very low. Sometimes village elders have ruled that a girl should marry her rapist and pay a dowry to his family. We have provided counselling and rehabilitation to victims, while our legal team has been supporting prosecutions of rapists. This has led to child rapists going to prison where they belong.