LAHORE: A seven-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in the city’s Garden Town neighbourhood on Monday.
Police said, the victim G* a resident of Jeewan Panda area in Garden Town, was alone at home when the incident took place. “Her mother had gone to the market to buy utensils. When she returned, she found her daughter unconscious and her dress was also stained with blood.”
Police said the victim’s mother called the police. A police team reached the spot and shifted the victim to a nearby hospital. They collected forensic evidence from the crime scene and also recorded eyewitness statements. The cops conducted a medical examination of the victim and arrested Gulbaz, who is her cousin. Police registered an FIR against the offence.
According to Sahil, an NGO working for the protection of children against violence, child sexual abuse cases in Pakistan have increased from nine cases per day in 2017 to 12 cases per day in the first six months of 2018. The report titled Cruel Numbers, containing data from January to June 2018, has been compiled by Sahil.
In 2018, from January to June, a total 2,322 child abuse cases were reported in newspapers from all four provinces, including Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan. The six-month data showed that out of the total reported cases, 1,298 (56%) of the victims were girls and 1,024 (44%) were boys.
The report, quoting newspaper articles, stated that the major crime categories of the reported cases from the first half of 2018 were 542 of abduction, 381 of sodomy, 360 of rape, 236 of missing children, 224 of attempt of rape, 167 of gang sodomy, 112 of attempted sodomy, 92 of gang rape and 53 of child marriages.
The data also revealed that children in the age brackets of 6-10 and 11-15 are most vulnerable to abuse. Statistics showed that 65% cases were reported from Punjab, 25% from Sindh, 3% from Islamabad, 3% from K-P and 2% from Balochistan. There were a total of 21 cases reported from AJK and two cases from Gilgit-Baltistan. Out of the reported cases, 74% were from rural areas and 26% from urban areas.
According to the report, 89% of the cases were registered with the police. In 32 incidents, the police refused to register the cases, while 17 others were unregistered. The registration status of 196 cases was not mentioned in the newspapers.
CM takes notice
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has taken notice of the incident and directed the CCPO to submit a report. He issued these directions from Saudi Arabia and said legal action should be initiated against the culprit. He ordered that justice be provided to the bereaved family at the soonest.
*Names withheld to protect the identity