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14 Sept 2022

Violence against women, children increased in August: report

ISLAMABAD: A report has revealed that cases of violence against women and children saw an increase in being reported during the month of August 2022 in mainstream media.

According to research by the Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) and the Centre for Research, Development and Communication (CRDC), there was an increase in reporting of cases of kidnapping women, physical assault, domestic violence, and sexual abuse of children during August in the media.

Kausar Abbas, Executive Director, SSDO stated, “This month, we have provided a more comprehensive breakdown with the data by giving deeper analysis into the causes and manifestations of violence, as well as their profile such as age and work status. We also did some research into the role of media in ensuring that the identity of victims is protected. We hope that this can serve as a reference media, civil society, legislators and all stakeholders for future action.”

The report states that for the fourth month in a row, kidnapping of women was the most heavily reported in the media, with a total of 136 cases, almost similar to last month’s data of 133. This includes 80 cases reported only from Punjab, while Sindh had 31 cases. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad and Balochistan reported lower number of cases at 11, 8 and 6 cases respectively.

There were 87 cases of physical assault against women, which was a significantly major decrease from last month. 52 cases were reported in Punjab, 20 cases in Sindh, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 13 cases, while there were only two cases were reported from Balochistan.

Similar numbers were seen of domestic violence cases with 83 cases, down from 94 last month. Half of the cases were reported from Punjab (42). KP and Sindh reported 17 and 13 cases respectively, while Balochistan and Islamabad reported six and five cases respectively.

Furthermore, 71 cases of rape and sexual abuse of women were in August, a decrease from 85 cases reported in July. 41 cases were in Punjab, Sindh and KP reported similar numbers with 12 cases and 10 cases respectively, followed by six in Balochistan and two cases in Islamabad.

Twenty women were murdered in August, and 80% of them (16 cases) were reported from the province of Punjab, and 2 cases were reported in Sindh and KP.

Eleven women were killed under the pretext of ‘honour killings’, an increase from seven cases last month. Six cases took place in Punjab, followed by four in KP and one in Sindh. Additionally, there were three cases of cyber harassment and two cases of forced marriage in Punjab.

Amongst all indicators of violence against children, there were a total of 114 cases of sexual abuse reported across the country while the highest prevalence was in Punjab with 48 cases reported. The was followed by 27 in KP and 20 in Sindh, 13 in Islamabad and sixes cases in Balochistan.

The kidnapping of children saw a significant number cases reported in the media, with 58 children kidnapped across Pakistan though it was a decrease from 82 last month. Among them 22 cases were reported from Punjab, 16 from KP, 11 from Sindh, 5 from Islamabad and 4 from Balochistan.

20 children were subjected to physical abuse in August, which was markedly lower than 37 cases reported in July. More than half of all cases occurred in Punjab, which had 12 cases, while the three other provinces: Sindh, KP and Balochistan, as well as the federal capital Islamabad, had 2 cases each.

17 children were also murdered across the country in August, a decrease from 22 cases last month. 11 cases were reported from Punjab, while Sindh, Balochistan and KP reported 3, 2 and one cases respectively.

There were nine cases of child marriage reported in the news. Five cases occurred in Punjab, 3 in KP and one in Sindh. Nine cases of child labour were recorded in August including 8 from Punjab and one from Islamabad.

There were two cases of psychological abuse of children, both from Punjab. No cases were reported in the media of trafficking of women, children or psychological abuse of women.

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