Abuse allegations rock Darul Aman

Victim narrates horrific treatment in her statement recorded at Rawalpindi court

Qaiser Shirazi May 30, 2024


A woman who voluntarily got herself admitted to Darul Aman for protection from domestic issues has levelled serious allegations of poor treatment and abuse of women against the welfare-based shelter facility.

After spending only two days at Darul Aman, the woman recorded her statement in court, levelling serious allegations of injustice allegedly being committed against women by Darul Aman staff. She appealed to the Rawalpindi District and Sessions Judge and the District Social Welfare Officer for immediate action to secure the rights of the women at Darul Aman.

The complaints were filed by Sana, a resident of Sadiqabad. Among the more egregious allegations was that every girl who is admitted to Darul Aman is first strip-searched in front of a male cameraman. She further claimed that the women are forced to engage in indecent activities to please men and are subject to torture by the in-charge Ayesha if they refuse to comply.

Sana said that when she first arrived at Darul Aman on May 16 expecting protection, she was forcibly stripped in front of a male cameraman, who went by the name Ali. She alleged that wardens Misbah Amina and Zakia tore her clothes and stripped her naked while the cameraman took photos and recorded videos of her. She said that when she tried to resist, the in-charge, Ayesha, started hitting her.

Sana also stated that all her money and belongings were confiscated. As she recounted her abhorrent experience, she further listed that the male cameraman visits and inspects the sleeping girls at night, the staff uses the foulest language and the food served is stale. She made mention of two teenage girls aged 15 and 16 who are very unsafe at the welfare home as both of them are also subjected to nasty gestures and actions.

According to the complainant, all the girls want to leave Darul Aman but their relatives are purposefully not contacted. The administration demands Rs20,000 from women if they wish to contact their parents or relatives, and no one has that kind of money, so in effect, those who go there, become trapped.

Sana managed to approach the court, where Civil Judge Rabia Saleem allowed her to leave Darul Aman on May 18, after which she was able to appeal to the Sessions Judge and District Officer Social Welfare. The court ordered her release, upon which Darul Aman charged her Rs2,000 and let her leave.

“A fraud case should be registered even for the money they took from me. My belongings and money that were seized from me, should be returned, the cameraman should be removed from Darul Aman immediately, and after inquiry, the in-charge, Ayesha, should be dismissed. Strict action should be taken against such a deplorable organisation,” said Sana when recording her statement.

She further appealed for the appointment of a moralistic and respectful in-charge at the Darul Aman and urged the Deputy Commissioner and women civil judges to go on a surprise visit to its premises and listen to the complaints of each woman separately. “The state of the place and stories will make everyone get goose bumps,” she expressed.
On the other hand, the in-charge of Darul Aman, Ayesha, told The Express Tribune all the allegations were false. “We have never conducted a strip search, nor have forced women into any questionable activities.”

The District Officer of Social Welfare said that he had received a detailed complaint about Darul Aman and is in the process of conducting a departmental inquiry. The Rawalpindi District and Sessions Judge, taking immediate action, has ordered an inquiry which is being led by female civil judge Saba Qamar, who will submit her report to the sessions judge in the next 48 hours.


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