In yet another gruesome instance of violence against women, a husband allegedly slaughtered his wife and three daughters in Karachi’s Shamsi Society before turning the kitchen knife on himself. Miraculously, the suspect himself survived and was taken to JMPC with severe life-threatening wounds, with doctors opining low chances of survival. According to subsequent medical examinations, the victims were neither drugged nor sexually assaulted and only the wife showed marks of resistance on both her hands. During the investigation, the in-laws claimed that there had been friction between the couple for some time but nothing so serious to have caused such an incident.
The act is a stark reminder of how dangerous the environment in Pakistan has become for women. It comes almost a week after the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women during which the UN released a report on femicide stating that 5 women or girls were killed every hour by someone in their own family. Unfortunately, in Pakistan acts of domestic violence are considered a family matter, especially by the police. Lack of response and action has created a trend of domestic aggression and outburst that is carried out by males with impunity. However, such an incident is far from a random act as such outbursts are usually triggered after much repressed anger, frustration or resentment. Such instances must primarily be investigated from a psychological perspective i.e. finding out motive, intention, triggers and prevailing mental health of the perpetrator before legal action is taken. Prima facie it looks like the kerfuffle between the couple aggravated to a deadly level. Perhaps the husband was struggling to make ends meet, which could be suggestive of why he killed his daughters before also trying to commit suicide.
Much hope in understanding the case lies in whether the husband is able to recover. Determining the mental state of the perpetrator will help immensely at mitigating and dealing with such acts in the future.
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