Domestic violence is the frontline of the war against Society. Domestic violence occurs whenever a person in an intimate relationship or a marriage or other relationship where one person tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose: to gain and maintain total control over a person. An abuser does not “play fair”. Abusers use fear, guilt, shame and intimidation to usurp and keep them under their control. Abuser can also threaten, hurt or hurt those around the person whom they use to abuse.
Domestic violence and abuse do not discriminate. Abuse occurs between associations, fatherhood or even at the workplace. It occurs in all age groups, ethnicity and economic levels. And although women and children are more often victimized, men are also abused, especially verbally and emotionally. The conclusion is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it is from a man, a woman, a teenager or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected and safe.
Domestic violence often escapes threats and the verbal abuse of violence. And while physical injuries may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence are also serious. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-esteem, cause anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. Nobody should have to endure this kind of pain and their first step towards liberation is to recognize that their situation is abusive. Once you recognize the reality of the abusive situation, you can get the help you need.
As in Pakistan there are laws that stop this domestic cancer that kill families and societies from many ages, one of the law in this category is the 2012 Law of Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2012, this law defines the person in which all above said kind of people includes. Despite for this law Domestic violence is an endemic social problem in Pakistan. According to a report, nearly 70 to 90 percent of women suffer from many forms of abuse. In Pakistan, more than 5,000 women die each year as a result of domestic violence, and thousands of women have been seriously injured. About 97% of the women were interviewed and told that they had been the victim of some type of assault, ranging from verbal abuse or threats to beatings or non-consensual sex.
It is really painful to mention that 12-year-old girls are killed by their own parents and siblings. There are different reasons for domestic violence in Pakistan, such as poverty, illiteracy and social taboos. In Islamabad, nearly 4,000 women were assaulted during the eight-year period in which 30% were pregnant. So, about four women are killed this way every day. I call on the relevant authorities and human rights organizations to increase the number of laws against domestic violence and to protect women from physical torture, sexual abuse and acid attacks.
Children who live with domestic violence experience emotional and psychological trauma due to the impact of life in a home dominated by tension and fear. These children will see their mother threatened, belittled or physically or sexually assaulted. They will listen to conflict and violence and see the aftermath of violence as their mother’s injuries and their traumatic reaction to violence. Children can also be used and manipulated by the abuser to hurt their mother.
According to a report published by the Task Force Against Domestic Violence in Queensland in 1988, 90% of children in violent homes witnessed violence against their mothers. In the research conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology, 15% of the young people interviewed were victims of domestic violence and 32% of young people know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence (National Survey on Attitudes and Youth Experiences in the Home 2000). Children who witness violence against their mothers often report behavioral, somatic or emotional problems similar to those experienced by abused children (Jaffe, Wolfe and Wilson, 1990).
In Pakistan, domestic violence is considered a private matter, as it is in the family and, therefore, is not an appropriate approach to evaluation, intervention or policy changes. Women have to face discrimination and discrimination violence on a daily basis due to cultural and religious conflicts, norms that embrace Pakistani society. According to one estimate, approximately 70 to 90% of Pakistani women are subject to domestic violence and about 50 to 60 % children face domestic violence. Various forms of domestic violence in the country include physical, mental and emotional abuse.
Some common types include honor killing, spousal abuse, including spousal rape, acid attacks and being burned by family members. Spousal abuse is rarely considered a social crime unless it takes an extreme form of murder or attempted murder, which can range from driving a woman to suicide or causing an accident (often the bursting of a kitchen).
According to a survey of 1,000 women in Punjab, 35% of women admitted to hospitals reported being beaten by their husbands. The survey reported that, on average, at least two women were burned every day in incidents of domestic violence and approximately 70 to 90% of women experienced spousal abuse. In 1998, 282 cases of burns of women were reported in a single province of the country of the reported cases, 65% died from their injuries. The official figures given for murders of women during the year 1998 were 1974, including 885 reported cases of homicide in a single province. A study conducted in Karachi reported that a large proportion of women are subjected to physical violence that has serious consequences for physical and mental health.
Homicide for honor is another form of family violence against women in Pakistan. It is known that the practice of karo kari occurs in many parts of the country. Official figures show that more than 4000 people, including 3800 women, have died between 1998 and 2015. The above figures reveal that in 2000 there were eighty-six murders of karo kari in Larkana, Sindh, alone, and that fifty-three of the victims were women. The whole scenario clearly reflects that violence against women is a huge social and public health problem.
There are many common triggers that are responsible for domestic violence in Pakistan. Some examples are: domestic violence against women due to daily conflicts, family problems, disagreements between women and men over any decision, preferences of choice, conflicts between the two genders, etc. and in Children is disobeying their parents, arrogant behavior, rebellious personality etc. All these factors are widely discussed in most studies as they are globally applicable to any social composition.
In Pakistan, there are some distinguishing factors that make women more prone to domestic violence, such as low educational levels, lower participation in political activities due to low empowerment, erroneous ideas about Islamic thoughts and traditional norms, the misuse of women in the name of honor murders, low socioeconomic levels and poverty, the existence of a system of unfair traditional dowry in society, common beliefs about the inherent superiority of men who ignore the autonomy of women and even the alcoholic addiction of men that is not even allowed in the Islam.
Domestic violence is prevalent in Pakistan at an alarming rate. Women and children are the victims and are subject to physical, psychological and sexual abuse in their home by their partners, in-laws and, in some circumstances, by their siblings and parents. The factors associated with domestic violence in Pakistan are the low economic status of women, lack of awareness of women’s rights, lack of education, false beliefs, problems of unbalanced empowerment between men and women, the dominant social structure male and the lack of government support.
Integrated support services, legal intervention and redress should be available in situations of domestic violence. Support and assistance for women to rebuild and recover their lives after violence should be part of the intervention strategy, which includes counseling, relocation, credit support and employment. In order to prevent women from suffering domestic violence and provide them with medical, judicial and legal support, new intervention plans and maps should be made in the societies in collaboration with the members of the health team, religious and social leaders, NGO, department of police and people from other similar groups. This implementation of the strategy must be applied.
The writer is an Advocate High Court Islamabad and teaches at the Best Law College, Rawalpindi.