Spike in sexual assaults recorded

Child rights activist Arshad Mahmood said that K-P should formulate laws


Our Correspondent December 31, 2016

PESHAWAR: Sexual assaults surged in the year 2016 as 21 sodomy and 19 rape cases were registered across the Peshawar district against 11 sodomy and 15 rape cases reported at various police stations last year.

According to data provided by police, sodomy cases surged by 100 per cent and rape cases increased by almost 27 per cent in 2016.

A police official maintained that there was no actual increase in either rape or sodomy cases, instead it was the positive attitude of police who started registering FIRs in rape cases. In the past, they said, FIRs were not registered.

A rights activist, Uzma Mehboob, said that the incidence of rape was far higher than what was reported to the police.

“Regrettably, rape is not reported in a majority of cases. The victim, mostly women or girls, are stigmatised for life and the victim is always blamed for improper conduct,” she said, adding that even if such cases were reported to police, most of the accused were released by courts because of lack of evidence.

“If there is evidence against rapists, victims are forced to pardon, especially if the victim is from a poor family,” she said.

“Police lack capacity and equipment to properly investigate rape cases,” she said.

Another rights activist, Imran Takkar, stressed the need for all stakeholders, including the government, police and the media, to play active roles and said that a system was needed for preventing child rapes.

“Not just prevention but we also need an effective child protection system,” he said.

Child rights activist Arshad Mahmood said that K-P should formulate laws on the pattern of Sri Lanka’s National Child Protection Authority Act of 1998.

“There are 25 districts in Sri Lanka and the authority’s chairperson is directly answerable to the president. Likewise, the head of the Child Protection and Welfare Commission should be directly answerable to the chief minister,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2017.

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