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Rape of 513 women this year a scar on city’s conscience

The outgoing year of 2022 left painful and ugly scars on the face of Karachi when it comes to the violent crime of rape as over 500 women and girls were subjected to sexual assault in the last 12 months, it emerged on Friday.

The shocking figures were compiled with the help of record of medico-legal officers posted at the three major hospitals of the metropolis — the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH).

The data, maintained by Police Surgeon Office, Karachi, showed an extraordinary increase in rape and murder cases in Karachi. Also, incidents of shooting people over resistance during mugging incidents showed an upward trend.

Speaking to Dawn, Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said that 513 women were sexually assaulted while 3,649 women became victim of domestic violence, who had been brought to the hospitals for medical examination.

Commenting on the official figure of rape cases, lawyer and rights activist Maliha Zia Lari believed that the actual figure might be higher than the reported one.

3,649 women fell victim to domestic violence in 2022

“Good thing is that under relevant anti-rape law, so far 27 gender-based violence courts have been established in Sindh,” she told Dawn.

Ms Lari, who is associate director of the Legal Aid Society, said that a recent survey conducted by her organisation suggests conviction ratio of the gender-based violence courts was over 11 per cent. It also showed that only 14pc people in Sindh were ‘satisfied’ with performance of these courts.

“We see that the response is improving but there is a need to focus on prevention,” she said.

Source: Dawn