KARACHI: Korangi appears to harbour the most number of rapists, if one goes by the numbers. Twenty-two per cent of rapes were reported from this town in 2010. Gadap (15), Gulshan (9) and Bin Qasim (6) followed.
But this is not a complete picture because this crime is grossly under reported. Violence against women is seemingly systematic, given its prevalence and varied forms and the fact that it makes up 95 per cent of cases of violence reported. The War Against Rape (WAR) revealed these statistics at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday.
WAR representatives claimed that the government’s efforts were ineffective. They quoted data released by the police — 103 stations — along with Civil, Jinnah and Abbasi Shaheed hospitals which showed an eight per cent rise in registered cases and seven per cent more medico-legal examinations in 2010 from 2009.
In another sad revelation, WAR told the press that 31 per cent of cases reported against a family member resulted in the family shifting away from their home and removing themselves from the legal system to avoid social persecution.
WAR said that the legal definition of sexual violence must be broadened to include incest and object, digital and marital rape as well as non-penetrative abuse. Cases with no marks of physical violence, delayed reporting, against the state and victims under 16 years are often overlooked despite the victim’s testimony. They also said that since courts do not place restraining orders on all the accused released on bail, they often continue to harass the survivors.
These factors, coupled with the hostile and sceptical reception given to survivors by support services and society, contribute to the dismally low conviction rate in sexual assault cases — three per cent annually since 2003.
Survivor statistics in 2010
95% – Female
32% – Over one rapist
33% – 18 to 23 years
31% – Families displaced
15% – 6 to 11 years
43% – Less than 16 years
55% – Less than 18 years
25% – 12 and 17 years
22% – Reported in Korangi
15% – Reported in Gadap
9% – Reported in Gulshan
6% – Reported in Bin Qasim
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2011.