Aurat Foundation launches report on violence against women

The Aurat Foundation (AF) launched its fourth Annual Statistics of Violence against Women report on Tuesday. The report is a part of its continuous efforts to highlight the issue of violence against women and its different manifestations in the Pakistani society. The research provided an insight into the incidents of violence against women in the country during 2011. Based on media reports, the compiled data not only gives provides information about the offences reported from across the country but also provided a comparative analysis of different provinces with respect to violence incidents.
The fourth annual report showed that 8539 women became victims of violence in 2011 and there was an overall 6.74 percent increase in the reported cases of violence in the country as compared to year 2010.
The figure was 8000 in 2010; in 2009, 8548 incidents of violence against women were reported; in 2008, these incidents numbered 7571. The report depicted that the incidents of violence in the last four years mostly numbered in the same range and that the country had not witnessed any decrease in the crimes against women. This reflected that neither the state nor the society was responding to curb uncivilised behaviour. However, some forms of violence had seen notable increase. For instance, sexual assault cases increased by 48.65 percent, acid throwing cases increased by 37.5 percent; ‘honour’ killings by 26.57 percent and domestic violence increased by 25.51 percent.
AF considered this number as the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as the data collected by their staff was solely based on the cases reported in the media, while a majority of the cases remain unreported.
The report stated that for a large number of incidents, the FIRs were not lodged which reflected the reluctance of the victims to involve the police. Among the 8539 incidents, FIRs were registered in 6745 cases; for 911 cases the FIRs were not registered and there was no information available in 883 cases.
The biggest number of unregistered cases was noted in Sindh where FIRs were not registered in 605 cases and no information was available in 75 incidents among the total of 1316 reported cases.
In the process of collecting the data, the AF staff observed some trends that, if allowed to continue, will further aggravate the situation of violence against women in the country. One such trend was noticed in Balochistan where, in most of the cases of Siah Kari (honour killing), the women were killed on the orders of the Jirga. However, the same Jirga let the men involved in these incidents to live after receiving hefty amounts of money in terms of compensation.

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