1,500 women abused in seven months -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

1,500 women abused in seven months

Karachi:Approximately 1,500 cases of domestic violence have been reported at the Women Crisis Centre from January to July, revealed Advocate Zaib, a Legal Aid Officer at the centre.

In the month of July alone, 50 cases of physical and mental violence have been reported as opposed to 137 cases reported in 2006. Also, 16 cases related to property have been filed in 2007, while 66 cases were reported in 2006.

Talking to The News on Wednesday, Zaib said that no cases of gang rape have been reported since the establishment of the crisis centre in 2004. However, two cases of sexual assault were reported in 2006 but the families did not wish to pursue the cases. She pointed out that these figures do not necessarily prove that violence against women has increased but that women have become more aware. “They now visit the crisis centre to seek separation or divorce,” she said adding that women from lower income areas are also more willing to work and support their families.

Reporting the matter to the police, said Zaib, only makes matters worse for the woman because she is often told to return to her husband. “Women are made to understand that since their husbands are drunk at the time of abuse, they cannot be at fault because the abuse in that case is not intentional.” She explained that in most of these cases husbands are under financial stress, and look for excuses to blame their partners. They believe they have the ‘legitimate’ right to act out their resentments.

As a result, most of the women turn to the crisis centre or NGOs for help. However, she lamented that she also faced difficulty in registering the cases as most of the women are ignorant about personal details regarding their husbands (such as his full name, age and the names of the factories they work in). “This further makes it difficult for us to pursue the case but, it is a positive sign that they can now at least dare to condemn and stand up against their husbands.”
Source: The News
Date:8/2/2007