Islamabad’s first anti-rape crisis cell set up at Pims – Pakistan

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Islamabad’s first anti-rape crisis cell (ARCC) was established at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Monday to supply well timed response and expedite justice for victims of sexual violence.

The cell was set up by the ministries of well being and legislation and justice with assist from the UK authorities, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Legal Aid Society.

According to a press launch issued by the legislation ministry, the inauguration of the ARCC got here as part of the implementation of the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Act, 2021, which necessitated the institution of anti-rape cells throughout districts to supply survivors with entry to a number of providers together with the registration of first data experiences (FIR), assortment of proof and a medical examination inside six hours.

“Survivors of sexual violence undergo tremendously from bodily impacts
emotional trauma and even social stigmatisation. Therefore, confidential and fast medico-authorized providers should be out there to assist them obtain justice and hope,” it stated.

“This ARCC will probably be useful in addressing the crucial problems with gender-primarily based violence,” the press launch quoted Raja Naeem Akbar, secretary of the legislation ministry, as saying.

“We are working, by the Special Committee on Anti-Rape
Law and National Commission on Rights of Child, with all provinces to make sure that comparable Anti-Rape Crisis Cells are established and are absolutely purposeful throughout Pakistan to make sure well timed and efficient help to survivors of rape,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination Secretary Iftikhar Ali Shallwani famous that the necessity for a 24/7 helpline or app was urged as a way for survivors to entry the providers offered, notably in gentle of the stigma connected to talking up about rape.

He additionally emphasised the necessity for self-defence coaching for women in colleges.

Ayesha Raza Farooq, the chairperson for the Special Committee on Anti-Rape Law and National Commission on Rights of Child, said that the federal government’s objective was to permit each citizen, particularly ladies, to assert public areas and journey on public routes with none concern of sexual violence.

Separately, UNFPA consultant Dr Luay Shabaneh termed rape “an unpleasant crime” and a crisis that warranted a “collective response”.

“I hope this Anti-Rape Crises Cell would be the first constructing brick primarily based on the Sexual Violence Response Framework and will probably be expanded all through the nation,” he stated.

Speaking at the inauguration, Pims Executive Director Dr Rana Imran Sikandar asserted that rape instances could be addressed by a holistic strategy and with respect, care and confidentiality all through the medical examination.

According to a report printed by Sahil — a non-revenue organisation — final yr, 12 youngsters on common have been subjected to sexual abuse every single day in Pakistan from January to June 2023.

It said that in 2023, the entire variety of abuse victims was 2,227, of which greater than half (54 per cent) have been ladies. The variety of boys abused had risen to 1,020.

Meanwhile, a coverage transient launched by the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) on March 8, 2023, stated that round 63,000 instances of gender-primarily based violence (GBV) had been reported in Pakistan over the previous three years.

The NCHR, quoting Ministry of Human Rights knowledge, stated 80pc of those instances have been associated to home violence, whereas some 47pc pertained to home rape, whereby married ladies skilled sexual abuse. The knowledge was primarily based on reported instances; the precise quantity is feared to be a lot greater.

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