The news of the Class II girl of Dechencholing Higher Secondary School in Thimphu who went missing and whose battered and savagely mauled body the search party found yesterday has left the nation numbed with shock.

Our small society hasn’t recovered yet from the kind of brutality we saw in Paro only a few months ago and here it is, yet another manifestation of a society undergoing rapid change which can be difficult to understand in relation to our culture and the values we hold dearly.

The comments from the Chief of Police which read along the lines that the girl could have been killed by a wild animal—a travesty—did not help. It only further angered the already disturbed and agitated people of Thimphu.

With good reason.

Coming from a professional who sits on the head of the nation’s law enforcing agency, it was in very poor taste.

But we have a bigger problem for which we must all take the blame. The drift from the traditional to modern is overwhelming. And all that is because we are not acting our part each individually. This year, sex-related crimes have been in the news like never before. Voices from the NGOs have been the most inaudible. We are not doing enough. There is today a need to put the problem in the right perspective.

The more we are growing as an economy, the more challenges we will have to face. Complacency is the problem, from all quarters. Parents still think sending their children out into the wide world is safe. And we talk about education and awareness!

We must so ultimately come to the law and law will not solve the problem that is symptomatic of a changing society. That’s not happening. Radical supervision like drug tests for graduates entering the civil service will not work in this case. But what could? Do we even debate about that possibility?

Unfortunately, more such problems will come to us and we will be left hapless like we are today. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do more to make a safe environment for our women and children. We are awaiting the investigation of the recent Paro rape case still, after so many months.

If that case goes nowhere, we will lose our respects for our law enforcers and the related agencies. We look at the future where our children are safe, at home and abroad, and that matters.

How are our lawmakers looking at this problem and responding to it? We would like to know.