Minister welcomes passage of bill on domestic violence against women

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister for Social Welfare Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan on Friday termed the passage of a bill to protect women against domestic violence by the provincial assembly as a welcome move, saying that it would greatly help curb the deeply-rooted menace in society.

In a statement, the KP social welfare minister said that the bill envisaged a number of measures for curbing or eradicating violence against women who were effectively contributing towards socioeconomic development of the country.

Dr Hisham Inamullah Khan said that the bill was very important and added that economic and psychological pressure and enforced sexual contact would now fall under the category of violence against women.

It has defined economic abuse as the denial of food, clothing or shelter in a domestic relationship. Psychological abuse includes the abuser limiting the victim’s freedom of movement, as well as conditions such as anorexia, suicidal ideation, and clinical depression.

He further stated that this bill be help ensure security against exploitation and violence within their homes as well.

Under the bill, he said, district protection committees would be constituted to help the victims of domestic violence by providing shelter, medical aid and reasonable financial assistance.

Similarly, it had also been decided to set up a helpline for reporting incidents of domestic violence, the minister explained.

In case of violence, the bill provided that an application would be submitted to the court within 15 days and it was mandatory for the court to decide such a nature case within two months.

Under this bill, the violator will be liable to imprisonment for a period not less than one year and up to a maximum of five years. The violator will also be slapped with a fine ‘provided for the said offence in the Pakistan Penal Code’.

He expressed hope that the implementation of the bill would reduce the incidence of domestic violence.

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