Essay on domestic violence in pakistan

In a survey showed that women were killed in this manner, in the number rose to , and in it stood at estimated killings.

According to the Progressive Women's Association, such attacks are a growing problem and, in on International Women's Day , announced that various NGOs would join to raise awareness of the issue. Acid attacks in Pakistan came to international attention after the release of a documentary by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy called Saving Face The first known instance of an acid attack occurred in East Pakistan in The foundation reports that the attacks are often the result in an escalation of domestic abuse, and the majority of victims are female.

A recent report noted that one in five homicides in Pakistan are attributed to honour killings. Psychological abuse generally includes yelling, insulting, controlling behaviors, and threatening. In a study by Zakar et al. Associated with poverty is illiteracy and social stigma against domestic violence. In analysis of data from 3, married or previously married women from the - Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, association was found between the intergenerational transfer of spousal violence and cultural views of women.

Defined as marriage before the age of 18 years, child marriage is widespread in Pakistan and linked to spousal violence. Consanguineous marriages, or those within blood relations such as first and second cousins, are considered marriages in biraderi, or brotherhood, within many Pakistani subcultures. Another factor given for the rise in domestic violence has been due to increased urbanization. As people move from villages and increasingly live apart from an extended family, assaults are less likely to be prevented by the intervention of family members, who in past times often intervened in domestic conflicts.

Domestic violence leads to increased risk towards certain health outcomes like major depression, dysthymia, conduct disorder, and drug abuse. Associated with this self-reported statistic of women in a poor state of mental health was also a high prevalence of mental health disorders with anxiety and depression being the most common. In particular, physical violence has long-term, negative psychological impacts on women with stigma against mental health serving as an impediment to treatment.

Violence in Pakistan: A Gendered Perspective

Women in domestic violence relationships often have no recourse of escaping due to fear of murder from the perpetrator. If a husband is harsh on his wife then the mutual threat exists of the husband's brother-in-law being harsh on his sister. Bargaining power of women in domestic violence relationships is also minimal due to residence with the husband's family.

It was passed in the National Assembly [36] but subsequently failed to be passed in the second chamber of parliament, the Senate , within the prescribed period of time. Representatives of Islamic organizations vowed resistance to the proposed bill, describing it as "anti-Islamic" and an attempt to promote "Western cultural values" in Pakistan. They asked for the bill to be reviewed before being approved by the parliament.

In the Pakistani government passed legislation on dowry and bridal gifts in an attempt to eliminate the custom but, because of cultural and societal norms combined with government ineffectiveness, such killings over inadequate dowries continue. In the Senate of Pakistan rejected a resolution which would have condemned the practice of murdering women for the sake of family honour. On April 21, , the national government leader Pervez Musharraf declared that honour killings were "vigorously condemned" by the government and would be treated as murder. From both international and internal funding, there are a variety of NGO's that provide support to women who have endured or are enduring domestic violence.

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Prentice Hall. In Nicky Ali Jackson ed. Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence 1st ed. Retrieved 28 July Suad Joseph; Afsaneh Najmabad eds. Thomson Reuters Foundation. Archived from the original on 31 July Retrieved 31 July Health Care for Women International. This has become most acute in relation to the Indigenous community, most clearly in the Northern Territory Intervention, triggered by revelations of physical abuse of women and children, mainly girls.

Most of the violence, if not all, that our brittle communities are experiencing today are not part of Aboriginal tradition or culture. Throughout Europe significant issues have arisen, particularly involving Islamic and South Asian communities, regarding honour crimes and forced marriages. We have sizeable communities from the Middle East and South Asia in Australia, and are unlikely to avoid similar issues.

One of the principal ways that forced marriages and honour crimes, including killings, have arisen in the European legal system has been in the context of immigration law — particularly regarding refugee and asylum claims. That has also been the case in Australia. There is now an extensive literature on crimes of honour, not only focusing on Islamic communities.

Essay on Violence Against Women in Pakistan - Words | Cram

Extensive research has been conducted in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Pakistan, Egypt and Iraq, and similar crimes of honour occur, or a legitimate defence of honour has been recognised, in Italy and various jurisdictions of Latin America. Although men can be victims of honour crimes, the idea of honour in this context is based on a historical legacy of women as the property of their male relatives. A man had attempted to engage a person to murder his niece. The young woman had entered into an unhappy and clearly forced marriage in Jordan.

She formed a relationship with a man of whom the family did not approve, left her family home and moved to a refuge, taking out an AVO against her father, mother and husband.

Domestic Violence And Its Effects

The accused and his family were Jordanian. They were Orthodox Christians — worth emphasising, as the issues that arise in this context are cultural, not religious, and the man with whom she had a relationship was in fact Muslim. The uncle contacted a private investigation firm, enquiring how much it would cost to have her killed.

The sentencing task posed acute questions about the extent to which the cultural disgrace experienced by the family should be considered. The proposed victim gave evidence in support of her uncle, raising considerations of restorative justice in a context where restoring relationships within the family was entitled to some weight. Motive is always a matter of significance in sentencing, as is the requirement of personal deterrence in a situation that is unlikely to recur. The requirement of general deterrence, though, points in the other direction.

These are difficult issues, and they call for judgment based on experience. That experience must also be informed by the broader social context, including the emphasis now given to preventing violence against women. Forced marriages have received considerable attention throughout Europe.

Stories from women about abusive relationships

The practice of forced marriages, particularly of young women from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, has become a significant concern in the United Kingdom. In , the British Government created a Forced Marriage Unit to seek to prevent such marriages, on the basis that they constitute an abuse of human rights. In more than sixteen thousand incidents of suspected forced marriages were reported to the unit.

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This included orders to prevent a forced marriage from occurring — relinquish passports; stop intimidation and violence; reveal the whereabouts of a person; and prevent someone being taken abroad. Orders can be made ex parte in emergency situations; orders for arrest where violence is threatened or used can be issued, and failure to obey them is a criminal offence. It is not a criminal offence to obtain consent through duress or other force, although other provisions of the criminal law could well be applicable in such situations. It is an offence to traffic an underage person overseas for the purposes of a forced marriage.

Such matters have come before Australian courts. In one case, a young Sicilian girl was abducted and kept by force in Italy. The dishonour to her family was such that her father would, by custom, have been obliged to kill her if she did not marry her kidnapper. The Australian judge annulled the Italian marriage on the ground of duress.

There is a fundamental conflict between a human rights approach to these matters and the tolerance of cultural traditions, based on an assumption of equality between cultures. The human rights approach is founded on an assertion that, in certain defined respects, the values of one culture — because they are internationally recognised — are superior to those of another culture, and entitled to overriding effect.

There is no way of avoiding the dilemma arising from this conflict of values. We see it most acutely in Indigenous issues. The recognition that certain rights are fundamental plays an important role in establishing the basis for resolving the issues when they arise before the courts.

This occurs in the migration context, particularly protection visas and family law decision-making processes, ranging from issues of consent through to questions of custody; and in the criminal justice context, including provocation, based on cultural or religious factors, to downgrade a charge of murder to manslaughter and the weight given to such considerations in sentencing discretion. The defence of provocation has been used in cases of honour killings in Britain.

Some years ago, in Australia, a trial judge left provocation to the jury in a case where the accused, a Turkish Muslim, killed his daughter in a confrontation over an alleged sexual relationship with her boyfriend. The jury appeared to accept the defence. The New South Wales law of provocation distinguishes between the gravity and effect of the conduct, and the response of the accused by a loss of self-control.

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It has been held that the cultural background is relevant to the first but not to the second. In any event, in most honour killings there is evidence of deliberation and planning that is inconsistent with the loss of self-control. Some have argued that failure to accept the internalised cultural response, which leads to a loss of self-control, is contrary to the principle of equality before the law.

In the past this issue has arisen in the context of Aboriginal defendants. Such considerations have not been accepted as satisfying the loss of self-control aspect of the test of provocation.

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There is tension between gender bias and considerations of cultural respect in determining what the overriding value of equality before the law requires in a particular case. It is a very real challenge to balance the objective of cultural equality and diversity with the protection of women from gender-based violence.

The difficulties involved have been highlighted in the continuing debate about violence in Aboriginal communities and the extraordinary measures taken in response to it in recent years. These approaches are largely based on Western models of intervention that have sought to separate the victim from the perpetrator, which in the process has led to the division of Indigenous families.

Whilst this option may grant some reprieve from the immediate danger of assault, Indigenous family groups do not see separation as a viable long-term option given that we have almost universally been subjected to forced removal since colonisation. Nor do we see the solution solely in terms of criminalising violence and institutionalising the offender to protect the victim Many women fear that they could face increasing levels of violence from their partner when they are released from custody.

Similar issues could arise with a number of ethnic and religious groups. Human rights norms are, to a substantial degree, based on assumptions about individual autonomy — the full implications of which are not universally accepted, including by women of these social groups. The demands of filial piety and the need for social inclusion are not simply imposed; they are often internalised and accepted. Often extremist and conservative interpretations of Quranic injunctions [23] are adopted to justify male dominance rather than progressive interpretations which substantiate human rights.


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Domestic violence is a very common form of violence silently suffered by many women in Pakistan. It is a form of physical, sexual or psychological abuse of power perpetrated mainly but not only by men against women in a relationship or after separation [24]. In Pakistan since the joint family system is common, in laws are also common perpetrators of domestic violence [25] in relation to dowry issues or family disputes. The problem with this form of violence against women is that such cases are seldom reported, often treated as private household matters [26].

Men consider it their right to threaten or be physically violent to their wives as corrective behavior when women are seen as being disobedient. Ironically, in most cases of domestic violence women do not even realize that they have suffered a form of abuse at the hands of their partners and treat domestic violence as socially accepted behavior.