National shame: Number of rape cases has doubled according to report

Published: September 17, 2013
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The law, justice and human rights ministry points out that the actual number of reported cases is higher; victims are mostly under the age of 19.

The law, justice and human rights ministry points out that the actual number of reported cases is higher; victims are mostly under the age of 19.

ISLAMABAD: 

While the nation is still reeling from the aftershocks of last week’s multiple rape cases, figures quoted by the law, justice and human rights ministry in a report show that the number of rapes have drastically increased in the last two years.

Since 2011, over 600 rape cases were registered with the human rights cell of the law, justice and human rights ministry, but the number of reported cases was higher and almost crossed 3,200 during this period. Most of the victims were in their teens. This was stated by the ministry in a report submitted in response to Awami Muslim League parliamentarian Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, who had earlier sought details of cases of violence against women.

Lawmakers and civil society activists said the conviction rate in rape cases was very low and due to the slow pace of cases in the courts, there were threats of violence and familial pressure on the victim to avoid ‘shame’.

Punjab has witnessed an alarming rise in cases related to rape with women, with over 460 registered cases out of a total of 614, in the last two and a half years, while as many as 18 rape cases were registered with human rights cells in Sindh.

Only six cases were registered in Balochistan while nine rape cases were registered in the federal capital. Surprisingly not a single case was registered in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa during the last two years.

Over 800 cases related to violence against women with human rights offices across the country during this period. More than 800 cases were registered in terms of domestic violence and over 320 out of 820 cases of violence against women, were registered in the KPK – the most conservative province of Pakistan.

Over 250 cases of domestic violence were registered in Punjab while the human rights offices registered 220 cases in Sindh.

Fresh mechanism

Sheikh Rashid Ahmad urged the government to set a fresh mechanism by reviewing existing laws which were not very supportive for rape victims.

“Unfortunately, women remain a vulnerable being in the Islamic state [Pakistan]—while Islam teaches equal rights amongst Muslims,” he observed.

“People are now tired and they want to report their cases,” says Dr Fouzia Saeed, author of ‘Working with Sharks: Countering Sexual Harassment in our Lives’.

She observed that law enforcement agencies, such as the police and the judiciary worked against the victims.

“Courts delay the process and focus only on more compromise,” she says adding that the judiciary is extremely unsupportive to rape victims.”

“The environment in the court rooms and the language for questioning is intimidating for victims,” she says.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson, Zohra Yousaf says a majority of victims don’t have access to promptly report their cases at police stations.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2013. 

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Raj - USA
    Sep 17, 2013 - 10:41AM

    Many of the news media is also responsible for these crimes. I have watched reputed channels invite Orya Maqbool Jan many times to discuss these issues. He immediately starts with false statistics of such instances in USA, Europe, Latin America, etc. etc. Many times I have heard him compare human relationship of a man and a woman with animal behavior. Media calls him intellectual and never question him. At his age he would be having a family, daughters, sons and even grand children. I wonder what his wife and children would be thinking of him after watching him on TV debates. In one discussion Dr. Farzana Bari asked him directly why he always compares human relationship with that of animals. Media should shun these types of intellectuals and importantly, should not introduce him as an intellectual and should also question him. Anchors simply nod to whatever he says and also comment “True”. This is shameful.

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  • Nayla
    Sep 17, 2013 - 8:06PM

    Just because the number of cases registered has risen, I don’t think that means the actual number of rapes has risen. It’s like what has happened in the West. More women are coming forward because the attitude about rape is finally changing, and more women feel that they can actually come forward and report it.

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  • Mid-20s working female Karachiite
    Sep 17, 2013 - 10:23PM

    While I think it is entirely possible and plausible that incidents of rape and sexual assault is on the rise, particularly in urban areas – rape and sexual assault has always been and still is a grossly under-reported crime, even in developed countries.

    What the numbers seem to indicate is a rise in rapes being reported, particularly in Sindh and Punjab. This could be attributed to a rise in awareness, women participating more in society (entering the work force, using public transport and being in public spaces etc) and a corresponding increase in personal autonomy, agency and female support structures. This would also explain why no rapes have been reported in KPK.

    I wonder what the statistics are for reported rapes amongst boys and men. I think there’s even more stigma attached to male rape, as though rape is something that only happens to women and to be a man and be raped means that one is weak and emasculated.

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  • its me
    Sep 17, 2013 - 11:07PM

    *the sinner should be punished publically, the punishment can teach the best lesson to all others……..
    *
    second Indian and English movies and bad sites over internet should be completely banned …………………..**

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  • Sep 22, 2013 - 10:34PM

    Thanks to tolerance n freedom.
    As we are going more democratic n enlightened more n more rape cases are occurring.

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  • Ali Baig
    Sep 26, 2013 - 9:26PM

    rape cases are going to increase day by day, i think the reason behind are multiple factors, like media’s way of providing news, the influence of cable,( romantic plays, movies, porns, dubling of such cases in news etc.), theses are totally influence the thoughts of people, moreover, we we are diverting from islamic values.

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