Violence Against Women (VAW) in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK): Explorations in the Role of Police Department
14 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2015 Last revised: 9 Jan 2016
Date Written: November 30, 2015
This Paper examines the issues around the violence against women in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and the role of police to tackle these cases and situations. Violence against Women (VAW) is both a global concern and not merely a local problem, as violence has no geographic and socio-cultural boundaries and cuts across all socio-cultural, ethnic, geographical and class boundaries. Police is mandated to take action against VAW but it too does not take adequate steps. The central concern of this paper is that while, in all the four provinces of Pakistan, violence against women is well researched and documented, relatively little research has been conducted in the context of Azad Jammu Kashmir.
This research analyzes available literature and statistical data on crimes from AJK Police, making use of some case studies. The research concludes that women are not safe from sexual violence in the privacy of their homes, abductions emerge as the key crime in registered cases as a ploy to intimidate young women from exercising their legal right to marriage or leave homes to avoid a forced marriage. Rape crimes are linked with abductions but also crimes committed by related family members and jilted lovers. The analysis of police response highlights poor prosecution; low conviction rate; high acquittal rates; high compromise rates, and very high rate of cases pending trial in the courts. The paper further analyses the legal frameworks; institutional and societal practices and highlights the reasons for low convictions.
Keywords: Violence against women, police, AJK, laws in Pakistan
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