A Ray Of Hope For The Victims Of Domestic Violence

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The progressively frightful situation of violence rendered towards females and children in Pakistan is so heart-rending to mention. This covers not solely physical abuse but the psychological and verbal abuse, that is so prejudicial for mental and emotional well-being for the women. The prevalence of domestic violence in Pakistan accounts for somewhere between 21% to 50% which is quite alarming for the state.

It is so heart wrenching while listening to the stories of several women who have suffered or suffering from the domestic abuse from their known people. The women of all age groups and even from all backgrounds have suffered in this situation, it is an estimated that around 60 – 80% women in Pakistan have faced some kind of violence in their lifetime, either they are married or unmarried. The unmarried ones get abuse from their own brothers and father in the name of honor, society fear, marriage proposals, even in career development and lack of tolerance. The forced marriages (vani) are also the torment of our society which has engulfed the lives of several young girls. Nonetheless, acid attacks have also been the worst kind of violence prevails in our society from which a woman lost her self-confidence, personality apart from her face deformation, in some cases even their family members refuse to accept them which is yet another psychological abuse on those pure souls.

However, the married women face domestic abuse from their husband and their in-laws which is yet another a heart wrenching one. The violence could be psychological, verbal, physical, social and religious rights manipulation, pressurization from society and even not delivering a male child. Unfortunately, the women have usually been the victim of non-sensical issues. However, India and Afghanistan are more violent and unsafe for women, because these states also have high rates of domestic violence than Pakistan.

The constitution of Pakistan has many clauses for women protection and even laws for women protection and the government is trying with full force to sustain it in every corner of Pakistan but the lack of knowledge in women and male domination in tribal areas have ceased the way. For this, Pakistan initiated a “Madadgar Helpline 1098” for women since 2001 where the helpline has registered uncountable complaints of violence. Recently, UNICEF has also joined hands in this cause.

The helpline provides telephonic, face -to- face and virtual help to the survivors of domestic violence for women and children. The Lawyers of Human Right and Aid (LHRA) have been running this helpline for around 20 years to the complaint against all kind of assaults, abuse and violence prevails in our society and has provided effective ways. The helpline has 1000 referral partner including Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Police, Non- Government Organisations (NGOs), CPLC, Hospitals, Media partners, Shelter homes. Even the helplines have strong relations with the Ministry of Human Rights, various Social Welfare Departments.

Nonetheless, the helpline is four-digit code (1098) working with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority under the influence of the Ministry of Human Rights, and it has gained cross-border recognition as well. The Girls Guide has also joined hands to spread on the national level. The helpline centers headquarters are in the provincial capitals, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and in Peshawar to provide assistance to the victims.

Unfortunately, Pakistan is in the top-ranking states in domestic violence against women and children which is an alarming one. The neighboring states are above from Pakistan and the Republic of Congo ranks high in this list. The judicial system must take strict actions against this torment which has engulfed the several lives of women, uncountable families have been disturbed, the psychological issues are also increasing every passing day. Different kinds of campaigns and workshops should be arranged for both men and women, different counseling sessions should be arranged.

Here I want to mention that the Education Department of Pakistan should add the Religious and Citizen Rights of Women, Men, and Children in the curriculum and should be a part of the curriculum and should be taught in the High Schools so the students would aware from their basic rights in the society, otherwise, their rights would be manipulated and violated and they aren’t aware of it.

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Sana Zehra is a Microbiologist and have keen interest in writing, a patriot and willing to be an aspiring writer.

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