Senate unanimously passes Domestic Violence Bill

By AFP
Published: February 20, 2012

Pakistan's Senate on Monday passed a bill that makes violence against women and children an offence carrying jail terms and fines.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Senate on Monday passed a bill that makes violence against women and children an offence carrying jail terms and fines, state media said.

The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill was introduced by Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar and passed unanimously by the upper house of the federal parliament, Pakistan Television reported.

The law was already passed unanimously in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, in August 2009. It will come into effect after President Asif Ali Zardari signs it into legislation.

Those found guilty of beating women or children will face a minimum six months behind bars and a fine of at least 100,000 rupees ($1,100).

Besides children and women, the bill also provides protection to the adopted, employed and domestic associates in a household.

The law classifies domestic violence as acts of physical, sexual or mental assault, force, criminal intimidation, harassment, hurt, confinement and deprivation of economic or financial resources.

Previously, if a man beat her wife or children, police could not arrest him and it was considered a domestic affair.

Human rights groups say Pakistani women suffer severe discrimination, domestic violence and so-called “honour” killings — when a victim is murdered for allegedly bringing dishonour upon her family.

They say that women are increasingly isolated by spreading Islamist fundamentalism in Pakistan, where the Taliban threaten parts of the northwest.

Reader Comments (12)

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Feb 20, 2012 - 11:02PM

    Now the women can divorce their husbands instantly and the children will do whatever they want to do.

    Good law, which will give independence to every one in the country.

    The parents will get relieved as soon as their children will attain the age of 18.

    Sooner or later, Pakistan is going to have the same laws as of United States of America.

    Recommend

  • Malik
    Feb 20, 2012 - 11:11PM

    Well if nothing else the divorce rates are going to be up and up…Men will not stay with women that report them to the police. Its simple social science. More independence for women I guess.

    Recommend

  • Jehanzeb Akhtar
    Feb 21, 2012 - 1:54AM

    @Malik
    a divorce is better than an abusive relationship. only if our women could try to become financially independent. it will free them up from slavery and abuse that many marital relationships turn out to be for them.

    Recommend

  • Red
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:17AM

    Hehe. Oh look, the men are running scared again.Why don’t you want women to stay with your out love and respect rather than fear and dependence? Misogynist much?

    Recommend

  • kayem
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:47AM

    im sure that when the time comes for such a report to be filed and a man to be jailed and fined, the victim will be asked to produce four witnesses.

    Recommend

  • unbeliever
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:56AM

    @Malik:
    come on malik you are one misogynist yourself

    Men will not stay with women that report them to the police. Its simple social science. More independence for women I guess.

    what makes you think that women like to stay with men who beat them. have you ever tried to think from a women’s perspective.

    Recommend

  • Saima
    Feb 21, 2012 - 4:12AM

    kon log hain bhai yeh???? You are actually giving threats of divorce against a someone standing up for themselves? In case you haven’t noticed this law also covers abuse against children and servants….and there are a gazillion cases of that…what do you have to say about that? As far as beating one’s wife is concerned…forget the law…even from religious point of view…would Prophet (SAW) have appreciated such actions?

    Recommend

  • Sidra
    Feb 21, 2012 - 4:29AM

    are you kidding me? so women independence is not good??? another reason why we are in deep sh** … most of the western world provde equal rights to their women something that we muslim countries should be doing more, instead we treat women as second (infact even as third) class citizens depriving them of their basic rights, utter disappointment …so what if they can divorce their husbands, if they are not happy then why not, if they get beaten up frequently then why not ..for the sake of their children??…kids who are being brought up in a disoriented families turn out worse than those who live with single parents (i reckon), There is a great possibility of a boy growing up in hostile, violent environment to turn out to be just like his father, and a girl just like her mother, thinking that its her duty to remain silent and fulfil the desires of her man no matter what . The government should also financially provide for them, get such women jobs etc so that they can support their children. Dont need scrwed up men to do that :P we as a sensible society should be supporting them as well …

    Recommend

  • Intelektual
    Feb 21, 2012 - 8:41AM

    Atleast a good start but its really a long way from its actual implementation.. with our competent executive and at odds Judiciary not to forget the superiority complex ridden malevolent mentalities its fair to say the fight aint over just yet..
    Also the risk ov abuse of these laws is also there exactly how would the police or court determine mental assault? And who is to stop the criminal elements from orchestrating a a trap to blackmail white collar wife fearing folks..
    As to earlier comments especially pertaining to Divorce. Marriages are supposed to be a source of happiness if they prove smething to the contrary Divorce is a much much better solution. Nobody needs to be misrable just to be married. Also People should start buying real good quality punching bags to take their frustrations out, it ill be a healthier alternative for them and their families.

    Recommend

  • ZM
    Feb 21, 2012 - 2:47PM

    This is good to having a bill against violence on women , specially for wives but the implementation is always taken place by attitudes not by any bill …. n u know how much we r following laws , rules n regulation ! And through Islamic point of view …. Women , specially wives are declaring as an Ornament , n ornaments are usually handling very softly n gently . We all know ……… but Who Cares ???

    Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2012 - 9:44PM

    The report that: Domestic violence is no more a private affair, is a great news coming out of Pakistan. For too long, men, especially feudal elite resisted to make such violence a crime but they should have known that beating up family members – children, wives or sisters is a crime against culture, religion and humanity. It should not be tolerated. Bravo Pakistan!

    Recommend

  • Rukhshanda Naz
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:33AM

    I am amazed how people are making fun of a serious issue.I worked almost 18 years in KhyberPakhtunKhwa and other parts of the country,and a large number of men came with cases of violence e.g a father/brother or a community worker .I don’t understand why people are scared if they are not abusers.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan