Around 25 activists organized a flash mob in Maitighar of Kathmandu against rising cases of rape as well as gender-based violence, and similar programs were held across 40 other districts on Saturday. Outraged against all forms of sexual harassment, an independent group called ‘How much longer?’ organized the campaign.

Participants sang the song “The Rapist Is You” from the anti-sexual violence movement in Chile. During the campaign, voices were raised against the abuse of not only women, but also men and sexual minorities.

They also highlighted that death penalty was not the solution to increasing cases of rape. Campaign leader Prakriti Bhattarai Basnet said that strict implementation of existing laws would be more helpful in curbing rape cases rather than death penalty.

She added that at a time when culprits were being spared by police, family, and society as a whole, introducing death penalty would not contribute to justice. She pointed out the case of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta who was raped and subsequently murdered in 2018, but her culprit(s) yet to be booked.

The campaign has put forth six demands with the government aiming to eradicate rape and sexual violence.

Their demands include, no time limit for filing complaint of rape; jail time and fine be upped for rapists; no amnesty to rapists; life imprisonment for rapists; legal representatives from the Women’s Commission and the Human Rights Commission be present from the moment a case is filed and until it reaches court.

Similarly, they have also demanded that the words in Article 219 of the Criminal Code which states “if a man forcefully has sex with a woman without her consent” should be changed to “if any person forcefully has sex with another person without their consent” and the word “girl child” be changed to “children” so as to include victims as well as culprits of all genders.

The campaign has also demanded a ‘fast track court’ for cases of rape.

Five of the 25 participants in Saturday’s demonstration in Kathmandu were victims of sexual abuse. Their participance was aimed at encouraging other survivors of sexual violence to open up about their ordeal and come forward with their stories.