This year started with a very tragic incident where a 7-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped and murdered. In Kasur, Zainab was this little human who bore all this torture and had her thrown in the pile of garbage. People all over the world mourned the death of this little girl.
But the aftermath of this incident brought some awareness to people which are somewhat difficult to achieve before. So, people started educating their children about good touch and bad touch and talked about when something of this nature happens to them. This mother whose daughter was assaulted in Cedar College wrote this note where she wanted the college in question to take accountability for the matter!
Javeria Saad gathered the courage to say this as her daughter was vocal about what had happened at the college…
Certain events have unfolded over the past few days and I feel that it is imperative that I take charge of the narrative at this point.
I have a very clear message for Cedar College:
The administration at Cedar failed us in October of 2016, and if it were not for Marium Saad’s very courageous step to publicly call out her assaulter on social media recently, I would not have the nerve to write this today.
I feel Cedar issued their “apology” to save face, period. To quote Cedar, they “want to apologize to everyone who “feels” (inverted commas are mine) that we [Cedar] did not do enough about these cases or provide enough support to those affected”. So Cedar admin is not apologizing for not doing enough, they are apologizing to people who feel let down. Hence they believe the entire grievance is purely subjective, bereft of any objectivity.
Secondly, Cedar claims that “As a socially responsible school, we aim to create a safe environment where our students can express themselves freely, without any fear of judgement or repercussion”. My daughter did express herself, but the aftermath was vicious. Since her complaint was dismissed under the “lack-of-proof” genre, the accused slandered her, shamed her and made her life miserable. So, Cedar, my daughter was ‘judged’, and constantly lived under the fear of ‘repercussion’.
Thirdly, Cedar admin states that “A special disciplinary committee at Cedar deals with issues related to inappropriate behaviour on campus such as bullying, harassment and abuse”. My question is where was this so-called ‘committee’? Who is in this committee? We met two people, Mr. Bilal (Bilal Hameed) and Ms Fatima Khurshid (Fatima Khurshid). Is this the committee?
Furthermore, the Cedar “apology” claims that they did not do enough because they wanted to protect the privacy of their students since accusations of harassment are such a sensitive issue. Cedar did not protect my daughter. They straight up told the accused that Marium had lodged a complaint against him so he, the accused, made it his mission to discredit and destroy her reputation because in order to not be held accountable for his crime, the assaulter attacks the credibility of the victim.
Cedar also claims to have “reach[ed] out to all stakeholders”, which is untrue, since no one from Cedar has contacted us.
One part of the apology does ring true though, the fact that Cedar “feel[s] that we haven’t done enough”.
Moira Donegan laments in The Guardian (May 11th, 2018) that she is saddened when people say that:
… the epitome of maturity and personal strength is the resigned acceptance that the world cannot be better than it is, that we cannot be kinder to one another, that male entitlement, crassness and predation are permanent and unchangeable and must be endured.
In her book, Trauma and Recovery, Judith Herman writes:
In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on.
I say the time of reckoning is here. Every school must make their institutions safe from harassment for ALL students; and the declaration #MeToo is a rallying cry of the assaulted, the molested, the harassed, the bullied, it’s a warning that #TimesUp for misogynists, sexual predators; for male privilege, male entitlement, victim shaming, gagging, silencing, and gas-lighting.
Here’s her Facebook post!
After that Facebook post of hers, Marium the victim and her mother Javeria, went to attend the meeting which was supposed to be for students only. But since Javeria did not want her daughter to be alone, she went along and they were made to sit outside and a faculty member slammed the door to their face!
Does Cedar have any answer to this?
So @Cedar College as of now is having a meeting with the aggrieved students.
I accompanied my daughter, Marium Saad to the meeting and was told that it’s for students only.
I persisted because I did not want to leave Marium alone. To which the Cedar accounts teacher, Omair Masood rudely replied, “ Both of you can stay here ( the outside waiting area) and slammed the door in my face.
This is actually really sad!
If colleges start behaving in this manner, how is any parent going to be okay sending their kids to the institute? If such educational places are not these matters seriously how the society will. This indeed is a bosting element for the future molesters. That big institute can back them for saving face and the victim will root in grievance for life.