Friday, July 30, 2010

Punjab: Violence Against Women

From the Daily Times:
From January to June this year, 2,690 cases of violence against women were reported across Punjab, in which 2,909 women were targeted.

Former MPA Misbah Kaukab said violence against women was increasing rapidly. She said this while addressing a press conference organised by Aurat Foundation at the Lahore Press Club on Thursday. Joint Action Committee Convener Shahtaj Qizilbash, human rights activists Abdullah Malik, Nabeela Shaheen and Abid Ali were also present on the occasion.

The aforementioned facts have been taken from the first bi-annual report on incidents of violence against women, titled “Situation of Violence Against Women in Punjab”, compiled by Aurat Foundation in collaboration with the Violence Against Women (VAW) Watch Group.

Out of the 2,690 cases reported, there were 913 cases of abductions, 381 murders, 102 honour killings, 377 rape and gang rape and 166 cases of suicide.

Geographically, 1,141 cases had been reported in the urban areas and 1,546 in the rural areas, while the area could not be identified in three cases. According to the status of first information reports, 2,353 cases had been registered in the police stations concerned, 96 were not registered anywhere, while there was no information regarding the registration of FIRs in 241 cases. Out of the total 3,066 victims of violence, 1,535 female victims were unmarried, 1,217 were married, 48 were widows, 39 divorcees, while no information was available for the remaining 227 victims. Almost 467 of the victims were under 18 years of age, 185 women were aged between 19 and 36, 58 female victims were above the age of 36, while in 2,356 cases, no information was available about the victims’ ages.

Maximum incidents: According to the report, the 12 districts where a maximum number of cases of violence against women were reported were Lahore with 458 cases, followed by Faisalabad with 393, Sargodha 161, Sheikhupura 157, Rawalpindi 139, Okara 134, Kasur 116, Sialkot 114, Sahiwal 88, Gujranwala 87, Jhang 76 and Multan with 71 reported cases of violence.

The six-month picture of the current year reveals that out of 2,690 various types of offences committed against women, abduction tops with 33 percent women and girls abducted in Punjab, followed by murder and rape and gang rape at 14 percent, suicide six percent and domestic violence four percent. Interestingly, the report also reflects the relationship of the accused with the victims, as the accused in all 2,690 cases had been found to be close relatives such as husbands, fathers, brothers, cousins, in-laws, besides local influentials, police or neighbours.

The cases of violence against women were collected from local sources of information, mainly local and regional newspapers, individuals and shelter homes, the report says.

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