200% increase in cases of violence against women in past three months: report

Report compiled from the data and information collected from national and provincial dailies

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Increase in crime against women in past three months. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: There has been an alarming 200% raise in cases of violence against women in Pakistan over the past three months, according to a periodical report of the Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) from January-March 2020. 

The report, according to The News, has been compiled from the data and information collected from national and provincial dailies. However, there is a strong possibility that many crimes had been committed and not reported or misreported at various locations in the country, it added.

The report mainly covers crimes regarding early child marriage, child abuse, child labour, domestic abuse, kidnapping, rape, violence against women and murder. The report says that more than 90% of the incidents of violence took place against children and women in the past months.

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142% increase in murder cases

Titled Tracking Crimes against People - A Numeric Tale of Human (In) Security it also claimed that the crime rate kept fluctuating, as a 73% drop was witnessed during the month of February but a spike of up to 360% was witnessed during the month of March 2020.

The report showed that from January to February, the number of incidents of violence doubled, however the percentage against women remained as low as 15%, whereas February marked the highest percentage in the cases of work-place harassment.

It indicated an exponential growth in rape cases from February to March, 2020, as many as 164 cases of abduction cases were reported during these months, whereas violence against women increased by 200%. There was a 142.1% increase in murder cases during March 2020.

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Children also subjected to indirect violence

The findings of the report pointed out that majority of the crimes against children involved abduction, rape, and even killing. In most of the cases, the report contended that the places where the criminal act against a child took place was a familiar site, usually the playing ground.

However, few cases showed that children often were subjected to indirect violence where they might not be intended targets. Few children lost their lives at the hands of those in troubled families. There were children who suffered or made to suffer by an estranged parent or other children.

During the first quarter, around 61 cases of child abuse were reported while child labour cases witnessed a significant drop with 20 such cases reported in the newspapers. As many as 20 cases of domestic violence, eight of work place harassment, 25 of rape, 164 of kidnapping and 36 of violence against women were reported in these three months.

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'Need to impose existing legislation'

Director SSDO Syed Kausar Abbas said that the purpose of this periodic report was to evaluate the performance of law enforcement in addressing the crimes against the people of Pakistan. 

“Human security is the fundamental right of every citizen that needs to be ensured by the state. The increase in the crimes against women and children shows that there is a need to impose the existing legislation at all levels," the director told The News.

"This can be done by ensuring that every institution and citizen has awareness on his/her fundamental right to live in a secure and safe environment in the country,” he said, adding that the next periodic report will be published in the month of July 2020.

Originally published in The News