Legislation on domestic violence
LAHORE: The federal government is legislating on domestic violence against women and children to give them the right to report to police or magistrates in case of violence against them at home, workp or school. According to the proposed Domestic Violence Against Women (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2006, a child or a woman – in case of harm, injury, danger to health, safety, life or well-being, physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse and economic abuse – can file a complaint with a police officer of the sub-divisional rank or a magistrate for legal protection. Police officers and magistrates will be legally bound to tell a victim about his/her rights to free legal services under the law, after receiving a complaint. The magistrate will then fix a date for a hearing that should not exceed three days from the date of the filing of the complaint. After being satisfied that the complainant has been a victim of domestic violence, courts may issue a protection order prohibiting respondents from entering the victim’s place of employment, or if the victim is a child, his/her school.
If the complainant, especially a child, tells the court that he/she cannot live with the person who made him/her a victim of domestic violence, the court will be authorised to handover custody of the victim to foster parents till its final verdict. In case of a complaint against sexual abuse of a child, if the court is satisfied that the allegations are true, it can grant the child’s custody to the person filing the complaint on his/her behalf, or to a person chosen by the victim. National Assembly Standing Committee on Women’s Development member Begum Mehnaz Rafi said it was surprising that domestic violence had not been given attention in the past. She said that Islam protected women and children, and the government should adopt a complete bill on child abuse because young victims of violence had no way of getting justice. Ministry to launch campaign to check violence against women ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Women Development will launch the next phase of its community campaign to prevent violence against women, an official source said on Thursday.
The official said that all necessary preparations for the campaign had been finalised, adding that the ministry had decided to enlist the support of the media to make the campaign more effective. He said that Rs 38 million had been spent on the first phase of the project, adding that the ministry would make all efforts to achieve better results during the second phase. She said that the first phase of the project included projects such as communities’ mobilisation in rural areas in collaboration with non-government organisations, adding that the ministry’s crises centres were operating in five districts. She said that seven workshops were held for police officers in major cities of the country to inform them about violence against women. She said that the campaign aimed to promote women rights and increase awareness about gender issues through print and electronic media. She said that the ministry had distributed 40,000 posters inscribed with slogans on violence against women.
Source: Daily Times