Islamabad: An alarming increase has been observed in cases of crime/violence against women and children in Pakistan during the first quarter of 2020.
A periodical report titled “Tracking Crimes against People - A Numeric Tale of Human (In) Security” released by rights group Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) revealed a 200 per cent increase in cases of violence against women in Pakistan in the past three months.
The report, based on print media coverage of such incidents during the above-mentioned period, also shows the crime rate kept fluctuating during the period as 73 per cent drop was witnessed during the month of February but a spike of up to 360 per cent was witnessed during the month of March 2020.
After compiling the data and information, collected from national and provincial dailies mainly on crimes regarding early child marriage, child abuse, child labour, domestic abuse, kidnapping, rape, violence against women (VAW) and murder it has been found that more than 90 per cent of the felonies were committed against children and women.
However, the rights group also found there was a strong possibility that many crimes committed were not reported or misreported at various locations in Pakistan.
Country head of the SSDO, Syed Kausar Abbas told Gulf News on Tuesday that from January to February, the number of cases had doubled, however the percentage remained as low as 15 per cent. This was not a comparison between the same period in year 2019 and 2020. It is a comparison between print media coverage of such incidents, he clarified.
February marked the highest percentage in the cases of work-place harassment, said Abbas. An exponential growth had been seen in rape cases, starting from February to March, 2020.
According to the report, as many as 164 cases of abductions have been reported, whereas violence against women had increased by 200 percent.
There was a staggering 142.1 per cent increase of murder cases during the month of March 2020. The findings pointed out that more than majority of the felonies against children had been sex-driven.
Abduction, rape, and killing had been the pattern prevalent in crimes against children.
In most of cases, the SSDO head said the places where criminal acts against any child took place was a familiar site, usually the playground or street, neighbouring home, and place near the victim’s residence.
However, a few cases showed children often were subjected to indirect violence where they might not be intended targets. A few children lost their lives at the hands of some in troubled families and there were also children who suffered or were made to suffer by someone of the estranged parent or by another child.
During the period, there were 61 cases of child abuse, while child labour cases witnessed significant drop that remained at 20, reveals the report.
The report also recounts 20 cases of domestic violence, eight of work place harassment, 25 over rape, 164 of kidnapping and 36 of violence against women had been reported.
Kausar Abbas said the purpose of the periodic report was to evaluate the performance of law enforcement in addressing the crimes against the people of Pakistan. He said that the next periodic report will be published this July.