Islamabad: As many as 6,754 cases of kidnapping, 1,890 rape and 3,721 of violence against women were reported in districts across Punjab, according to a report by Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), a non-development organization based in Islamabad.
While 752 cases of child abuse were also registered in the province, the analysis, conducted during Jan-June 2021, states.
“Lahore is the hotspot district in Punjab and has highest number of cases of rape, violence against women, kidnapping, domestic violence, and child abuse followed by Faisalabad and Gujranwala,” the report reads.
The report through authentic information obtained from official records and careful media tracking revealed very alarming situation about state of human rights violations of women and children in Punjab and Islamabad
In Islamabad, as many as 34 cases of rape of women were reported; out of these 27 cases were highlighted in media.
Violence against women and children has become rampant in Punjab, but cases reported in the media are much less than that reported and registered officially, it states.
During first half of 2021, more than 1,890 women allegedly stood victim of rape in Punjab as per the official record, but only 396 cases got attention in media.
Violence against women in Punjab is high with 3,721 registered cases while 6,754 women were kidnapped, the report further states.
In a first of its kind, the report gave district wise analysis of the situation identifying the hotspots. The report deliberates on the plight of women and children whilst highlighting the everyday risks of safety, security, and rights violations being faced by them these days.
As per analysis of the statistics, the records of cases reported in the media are much less than that reported and registered in the official data.
The report found that cases of kidnapping of women (6754) covered almost half of the statistics of violence against women and children registered in Punjab.
The mainstream tracked media could only report around 635 cases of kidnapping of women in the same period.
The report also found that violence against women in Punjab is an alarmingly high, with 3721 registered cases in first half of year 2021 though very less number around 938 cases reported in mainstream media.
In the same period, 1890 women became victim of rape in official statistics in Punjab but only 396 cases can get attention in media.
Domestic violence is common phenomena however always underreported in Pakistan mainly because women are often pressurized by their families, social circles and friends to bear the injustice and remain silent regarding any domestic issues including violence against them. Nevertheless, the statistics revealed that 325 cases of domestic violence were registered in the first half of the year 2021 in Punjab however only 158 have been reported by the media.
As per official record, 752 cases were registered in Punjab province against child abuse, while 583 of such cases were also highlighted in media.
Despite the fact age at marriage is 16 years in the province of Punjab contrary to the often recognized best practice of age at 18 years internationally; however the number of cases registered against child marriages were 17 in Punjab.
The less number of cases reported in the media than that of the official data suggests that the media could not even report most of the cases and/or media do not have enough coverage of cases under trial regarding violence against women and children.
The report also stresses on the need of all stakeholders including government, politicians, law enforcement agencies, relevant departments, judiciary, media and civil society to come forward, develop joint action to spread awareness, implement laws to curb violence against women and children in the Pakistan.