Punjab police registered 10,365 cases of violence against women in 4 months: SSDO

Rawalpindi- The Punjab Police have registered an alarmingly high number of First Information Reports (FIRs) of violence against women and children.
From 1st January 2023 till 30th April 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 reported in the same period, according to a report by the Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), a research-based advocacy organization, issued on Tuesday.
“SSDO believes that the actual frequency of unreported cases may be even higher, as many people are unlikely to report such cases to the police due to social stigmas and lack of faith in law enforcement,” said Syed Kausar Abbas, SSDO Executive Director. 
Looking at specific types of crimes, a high number of 5,551 women were kidnapped in Punjab during these four months, which meant that on average, after every single hour, two women were kidnapped. Out of all districts, Lahore led with 1,427 cases, which meant that one out of every four victims were kidnapped from the provincial capital. 
The next highest numbers were seen in cases of physical assault (2,818), where Lahore once again remained the hotspot of crime (504), followed by Sheikhupura (262) and Faisalabad (225). 
In addition, 1,111 cases of rape and 613 cases of human trafficking were also reported, where once again Lahore accounted for the highest number of cases, 139 and 210, respectively. A large number of rape cases were also reported from Faisalabad (117). 
Apart from crimes in the public sphere, a significant number of cases of violence against women in the private sphere were also reported. Also, 219 cases of domestic violence were reported, where Gujranwala emerged as the hotspot district (64), followed by Lahore (38). Moreover, 53 cases of honour killing were also reported, where Rahim Yar Khan (8) was a hotspot district. 
In terms of violence against children, it was horrifying to observe that sexual violence was the most prevalent, with a total of 858 cases. This would mean that almost 7 children were sexually abused every single day. Among the hotspot districts were Faisalabad (82) and Lahore (74). Furthermore, 613 children were also kidnapped in this short time span, for an average of 5 per day. One-third of these cases were only from Lahore (210). Along with kidnapping, 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. 
Syed Kausar Abbas, Executive Director, SSDO stated, “We believe that 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. It is also commendable that a comprehensive database of such cases is also being maintained. 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 12,000 cases were reported. This paints a very alarming picture of women’s safety in Pakistan’s largest province. We hope this data can provide a reference point for policymakers and other stakeholders to direct their efforts towards a targeted approach to curbing this issue.”
This data was collected through filing a “Right to Information” request to the Punjab Police, through Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan.

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