Punjab Records 10,365 Cases Of Violence Against Women In Just Four Months

Punjab Records 10,365 Cases Of Violence Against Women In Just Four Months
ISLAMABAD: Though the Punjab caretaker government claims to maintain the province's law and order situation adequately, an alarming increase in cases of violence against women, kidnapping, rape, and child abuse were reported from Pakistan's populous province.

Over ten thousands cases of violence against women, 1,768 cases of violence against children, and 5,551 cases of women being kidnapped were reported.

According to research by the Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), a research-based advocacy organisation, the Punjab Police registered an alarming number of FIRs on cases of violence against women as well as against children.

Right to information

The statistics were collected for the period from January 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023, and a copy of the data collected by SSDO is available with The Friday Times (TFT).

This data was collected through the filing of a “Right to Information” request to the Punjab Police, under Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

SSDO clarifies that the frequency of unreported cases may lead the total incidents to an even higher number, as many victims hesitate to report such cases to the police, due to social stigmas and lack of faith in law enforcement.

Violence against women and children in Punjab

From January 1 to April 30, 2023, a total of 10,365 cases of violence against women were reported to the police, while 1,768 cases of violence against children were also registered. 5,551 women were also kidnapped across the Punjab during the same period.

The statistics imply that, on average, 2 women were kidnapped every single hour, and 7 children were sexually abused every single day, in Punjab during the first four months of 2023.

Out of all districts, Lahore led with 1,427 cases of women being kidnapped, which meant that one out of every four victims were kidnapped from the provincial capital.

The next highest number of criminal cases were of physical assault (2,818), where Lahore remained the hotspot of crime with 504 cases, followed by Sheikhupura (262) and Faisalabad (225).

In addition, 1,111 cases of rape and 613 cases of human trafficking were also registered, and once again Lahore accounted for the highest number of cases; 139 and 210 respectively. A disconcertingly high number of rape cases were also reported from Faisalabad (117).

Domestic violence and "honour killing"

Apart from crimes in the public domain, a significant number of cases of violence against women in the private or domestic domain were also reported. 219 cases of domestic violence were reported across the province, where Gujranwala emerged as the hotspot district (64), followed by Lahore (38). Moreover, 53 cases of "honour killing" were also reported, for which Rahim Yar Khan (8) was a hotspot.

Violence against children

Statistics show that sexual violence was the most prevalent form of violence against children and child abuse, with a total of 858 cases. This would mean that almost 7 children were sexually abused every single day. Among the districts reporting the highest incidence of these crimes were Faisalabad (82) and Lahore (74).

Furthermore, 613 children were also kidnapped in this four-month timespan, for an average of 5 children being kidnapped every day. A third of these cases were from Lahore (210).

221 children were also subject to human trafficking, with Chiniot (44) accounting for almost one-fifth of the cases.

Furthermore, 48 children were also murdered, while 24 cases of child labour and 4 cases of child marriage were also reported.

Public awareness

Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director of SSDO, stated that “we believe the Punjab Police is doing a remarkable job registering cases of violence against women and children, and that is why increased numbers are seen in the reporting. The aim of publishing this data is to bring public attention to the excessive prevalence of violence against women and children”.

During just the first four months of this year, over 10,000 cases of violence against women were reported. Abbas opined that this painted a very alarming picture regarding the safety of women and children in Pakistan’s largest province.