Female â€˜empowermentâ€™: Only 15% of cases of violence against women registered at police stations KARACHI: The vast majority of incidents of violence against women that take place in Sindh are not being reported at police stations, reveals a quarterly report by the Aurat Foundation. The NGOâ€™s report, titled â€˜Situation of Violence against Women in Sindh,â€™ sheds light on cases of violence that took place between July and September this year. Of the 421 cases that were reported to have taken place in Sindh, FIRs in 353 cases were not registered. The resident-director of the Aurat Foundation, Mahnaz Rahman, feels that the indifference and non-serious attitude of the police makes victims reluctant to approach the police stations. â€œThere are a number of reasons why such cases are not being registered,â€ she said. â€œA major reason is that victims are discouraged by their families to not go to the police. The second is that when they do go to report the case, the authorities do not take them seriously.â€ Even if the police register the FIR, it benefits the perpetrators instead of the victims, she added. â€œThe police know that the women victims are helpless and canâ€™t fill their pockets.â€ With FIRs registered in only 66 cases, there was no information available about two cases as Rahman pointed out that the source of their findings was stories appearing in newspapers. Women police speak up Meanwhile, an SHO of a womenâ€™s police station in East Zone, Sajida Jamali, said that female victims prefer to go to their nearest police stations instead of coming to the stations dedicated for women. â€œWith women police stations located in fewer zones, most of which may be quite far from the victimâ€™s house, they prefer to go to the nearest police station.â€ Jamali said she has requested her superiors to transfer all women-related cases to her as victims feel comfortable when women police are handling their case. The findings According to the report, between July and September 2014, around 76 women were murdered, while another 57 became victims of karo-kari. Suicide rate seemed to be high among women with 49 committing suicide and another 19 attempting to do the same. Meanwhile, 41 women were abducted or kidnapped, as many became victims of jirga hearings, and another 31 faced custodial violence. Thirty-nine sustained injuries from domestic violence while 17 were tortured severely in domestic disputes. Twenty-one females were raped and five were gang-raped. Seventeen female were sexually assaulted, three were sold off, two became victims of forced marriages, another two were attempted to be murdered and one became a victim of acid throwing. Of the total number of cases, around 224 cases took place in rural areas while the remaining 197 were reported from urban centres. The report also identifies areas where the highest number of cases was reported. Under this head, Khairpur stood on top with 72 cases, followed by 46 in Jacobabad and 45 in Larkana. Surprisingly in Karachi, only 12 cases of violence against women were reported. The report goes on to say that the majority of the victims were married; 59.16 per cent were married, 16 per cent were unmarried while information about the rest was not available. Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2014.