2022 was a dark year for the women of Karachi, as over 500 became victims of sexual assault or rape.
The horrifying data was obtained using records from medico-legal officials stationed at the city’s three largest hospitals: Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH).
The statistics kept by the Karachi Police Surgeon Office revealed an unusual surge in murder and rape cases. In addition, cases of victims getting shot for resisting a robbery have increased.
According to Police Surgeon Dr. Summaiya Syed, 513 women were sexually assaulted, while 3,649 women were victims of domestic violence and were sent to hospitals for medical assessment.
Maliha Zia Lari, a lawyer, and human rights activist, believes that the true number of rape cases is larger. This is because the data comes from reported cases and that too from just 3 hospitals in Karachi.
She added that under the appropriate anti-rape legislation, 27 gender-based violence courts had been established in Sindh so far.
Ms. Lari, associate director of the Legal Aid Society, stated that a recent survey performed by her organization indicates that the conviction rate of gender-based violence courts is around 11 percent. It also revealed that only 14 percent of Sindh residents were satisfied with the functioning of these courts.
She noted that, while the response is rising, it is still necessary to focus on preventative measures.
Now the question is, of all these reported cases, in how many have the perpetrators been tried and in how many have they been sentenced. If the numbers are not equal then punishment must be given to the law and justice departments.