Alarming situation-11 rape cases being reported daily in Pakistan

 Only 41%cases reported to police due to the social pressures and ineffective investigation and prosecution 

The rapes, kidnappings and sexual abuse against women and children are rising at alarming pace. The recent shocking case of a gang rape of a mother and her five years old girl in Kishmor district of Sindh province is really alarming.

According to the official statistics at least 11 rape incidents are reported in Pakistan every day with over 22,000 cases reported to police across the country in the last six years. The conviction rate is pathetically low. In last six years only 77 accused have been convicted. The poor investigation and prosecution are the main reasons of this shameful low conviction rate.

These statistics were obtained from the Police, Law, and Justice Commission of Pakistan, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the Women's Foundation, and provincial welfare agencies.

According to a Geo News investigation, only 41% of rape cases are reported to the police due to social pressures and police culture.

Since 2015, a total of 22,037 cases of abuse have been registered, 4,060 cases are pending in the courts, of which 77 offenders have been convicted and only 18% of cases have reached the prosecution stage.

Police officials noted that only half of the rape cases are registered and the actual number of rape cases in the last five years could be as high as 60,000.

In addition, out of the total reported cases, 2,727 challans  or just 12% of the total cases  were filed in the courts, while a decision was given in 1,274, or 5% of them, with 1,192 accused acquitted.

According to official data, 18,609 rape cases were registered in Punjab during the last six years, 1,873 in Sindh, 1,183 in KP, 129 in Balochistan, 210 in Islamabad.

Thirty-one cases were registered in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in which no accused was convicted.

Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar had revealed: "Pakistan is among the 10 worst countries when it comes to rape cases. Around 14,850 kidnapping cases involving women, children and girls have been reported in Punjab during the last one year. Around 10,000 rape cases were reported in Punjab during the last three and a half years, from January 2014 to June 2017. Some 2,000 women were kidnapped and 80pc of them were allegedly raped during last year, while 15 per cent of these were killed.

 An alarming increase has been observed in cases of crime and violence against women and children in Pakistan during the first quarter of 2020.

A periodical report titled “Tracking Crimes against People - A Numeric Tale of Human (In) Security” released by rights group Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) revealed a 200 per cent increase in cases of violence against women in Pakistan in the past three months.

The report, based on print media coverage of such incidents during the above-mentioned period, also shows the crime rate kept fluctuating during the period as 73 per cent drop was witnessed during the month of February but a spike of up to 360 per cent was witnessed during the month of March 2020.

After compiling the data and information, collected from national and provincial dailies mainly on crimes regarding early child marriage, child abuse, child labour, domestic abuse, kidnapping, rape, violence against women (VAW) and murder it has been found that more than 90 per cent of the felonies were committed against children and women.

Country head of the SSDO, Syed Kausar Abbas told the media that from January to February, the number of cases had doubled, however the percentage remained as low as 15 per cent. This was not a comparison between the same period in year 2019 and 2020. It is a comparison between print media coverage of such incidents, he clarified.

February marked the highest percentage in the cases of work-place harassment, said Abbas. An exponential growth had been seen in rape cases, starting from February to March, 2020.

According to the report, as many as 164 cases of abductions have been reported, whereas violence against women had increased by 200 percent.

There was a staggering 142.1 per cent increase of murder cases during the month of March 2020. The findings pointed out that more than majority of the felonies against children had been sex-driven.

Abduction, rape, and killing had been the pattern prevalent in crimes against children.

During the period, there were 61 cases of child abuse, while child labour cases witnessed significant drop that remained at 20, reveals the report.

The report also recounts 20 cases of domestic violence, eight of workplace harassment, 25 over rape, 164 of kidnapping and 36 of violence against women had been reported.

                                                     Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor

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