PESHAWAR: Around 202 cases of gender-based violence have been reported in the first six months of the current year in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Around 202 crimes against women were reported in the first six months of the year. About 97 women were murdered, 24 killed in the name of honour, 72 raped and six incidents of domestic violence occurred,” revealed by Rakhshanda Naz, a women rights activist at one day orientation workshop with doctors, medico-legal officers on “gender-based violence case management, referral mechanism and a minimum response of health service.”
The orientation was organised by Noor Education Trust, a non-profit and charitable organisation dealing with the most vulnerable segments of society at a hotel on Wednesday.
In her presentation on “role of health system in the response to gender-based violence,” she said, adding that presently the government and non-government organisations faced challenges in responding to the gender-based violence (GBV) cases including lack of basic infrastructure to respond to GBV cases, overburden and capacities and vulnerability of the healthcare staff, referral and coordination gaps, non-existence of data compilation at provincial level and use of generalised terms by the medico-legal officers.
She added that there were no set standard operating procedures (SOPs) for medico-legal examinations except in Lahore in Punjab. She said there were a few DNA and forensic analysis facilities in the country (mainly limited to Islamabad or Lahore, Karachi) and hospitals did not allocate budgets for sample transport costs or report retrievals.
However, she recommended establishment of Medico Legal Case (MLC) ward/unit in the province, a strong coordination mechanism, scandalised SOPs, ML-Check list at all levels, need to challenge stereotypical practices within medico legal reporting and zero tolerance of negligence or any biased behavior in GBV cases.
Roohi Khan Babar, Irum Saba and Haseenullah from Noor Education Trust and Azia Hassan sensitised the participants, including lawyers, doctors, nurses, policemen, media persons and representatives from relevant organisations over the GBV case management and referral mechanism to the shelter homes in the province.
Roohi Khan Babar said that Noor Education Trust was the only organisation, which was running the lone private shelter home in the name of “Mera Ghar” and GBV cases were being regularly referred to the shelter home.
She said that Mera Ghar was supporting women survivors of violence through safe shelter, psychological, medical and legal aid programmes.