‘Unchanging status quo’: Women continue to bear the brunt of violence

Published: February 15, 2012

IN COLD BLOOD: 1 is the number of women killed in the name of honour in Islamabad last year.

ISLAMABAD: 

A total of 8,539 cases of violence against women were reported in 2011, an increase of about seven per cent over 2010.

According to the fourth Annual Statistics of Violence against Women launched by the Aurat Foundation on Tuesday, certain forms of violence, such as sexual assault, acid throwing, honour killings and domestic violence have shown a notable increase in 2011.

Among the 8,539 cases, nearly one-fourth of the cases (2,089) are that of abduction/kidnapping, followed by murders, which constitute 18.45%.

Moreover, 8.25% of cases have been categorised as honour killings, which indicate that a total of 2,280 women were killed last year.

In Islamabad, a total of 148 incidents were reported in 2011, compared to 127 in 2010. These included 34 cases of murder and 27 abduction/kidnapping cases.

There were 21 cases of domestic violence, nine suicides, eight rape/gang-rape cases, five cases of sexual assault and two cases of acid throwing reported in 2011 from Islamabad.

These figures, however, are just the tip of the iceberg, as hundreds of cases still go unnoticed due to multiple reasons, said the reporter.

Another cause for concern is that most of the reported cases never made it to the police, which reflect a lack of confidence that people have in the law enforcement agencies.

Out of the 8,539 incidents, FIRs were registered in 6,745 cases whereas no FIR was registered in 911 cases, while there was no information available in 883 cases.

Addressing a press conference after the launch of the report, Rabia Hadi, the national coordinator of Aurat Foundation’s “Policy Data Monitor – Violence Against Women” programme, expressed grief over the increase in violence compared to last year.

She said the figures show that the incidence of violence has remained more or less in the same range over the past four years. This, she added, shows that the society has not witnessed any radical change in the way they treat women.

“This reflects a kind of a status quo, also indicating that neither the state nor the society is doing enough to curb uncivilised behaviour,” she remarked.

At the same time, she maintained that the rise in reported cases indicates an increase in awareness among women to raise their voices against evils of the society.

She called for immediate steps to be taken to control the rising cases of violence.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2012.

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