Young Pakistani Woman Gets Criticized Online for Being Kidnapped

dua mangi

The abduction of 22-year-old Dua Mangi in Karachi, Pakistan is sparking a bizarre type of discussion on social media.

Dua was forcibly taken by still unknown assailants on early Sunday morning in an affluent area of the city which is known to have among the highest crime rates in Asia.

But instead of getting universal sympathy online for being a survivor of kidnapping, the young lady is being slut-shamed by many on social media, reports the BBC.

Abducted at gunpoint, Dua was reportedly taken by four or five armed men as she was walking with her friend Haris Soomro down the street along the upmarket Defence neighborhood in Khayaban-e-Bukhari.

Soomro, who tried to resist but got shot in the neck by one of the assailants, ended up in a hospital bed. His condition remains unstable as of this writing.

While Dua’s personal life remains largely kept private, reports have indicated that she is “an educated, successful, independent woman” based on her existing social media accounts.

Earlier this week, Dua’s sister, Laila Mangi, posted about her abduction on social media to seek any help and support from the public that would lead to her rescue. Laila posted Dua’s photo on Facebook, asking her friends and followers to keep an eye out for her. A relative also posted a similar request on Twitter.

It did not take long for the posts to gather support from concerned individuals and rights activists who condemned the crime and demanded action from local authorities. Unfortunately, however, the posts also attracted comments that shifted the focus on blaming Dua, criticizing her for the way she was dressed. Some have even went as far as suggesting that “she was asking for it” all because she wore a sleeveless shirt.

Other responses delved on her being a young woman roaming around at night with a male friend. The victim-blaming comments generated a storm of both sympathetic and disgusted reactions from social media users.

Many of them took offense on some people’s portrayal of Dua as an immodest woman who deserved getting forcibly taken against her will. Some of them lectured Dua’s critics while questioning their own moral reasoning and judgment.

Local police have also condemned such a debate on the issue as it only makes the investigation more difficult for them. Meanwhile, a psychologist interviewed by the BBC further noted how public shaming negatively impacts families.

“The debate has turned from who kidnapped the girl to why she was kidnapped. Such naming and shaming causes added pain to the affected family,” Danika Kamal was quoted as saying.

She noted multiple cases of families ended up withdrawing similar police complaints just “to avoid such public shaming.”

Based on the initial investigation, Dua and Haris purportedly went on that fateful day to the Master Chai tea shop, an establishment they frequently visited together in recent months. The authorities recovered both of the victims’ mobile phones from the site of the abduction and also obtained CCTV footage of the area.

In the most recent development, investigators have posited the possibility that Dua was kidnapped for ransom, although no further details were provided.

Feature Image via Dua Mangi

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