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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistan’s Female Police Officer Solves 200 Sexual Abuse Cases

News Desk |

The first female Station House Officer (SHO) of the Pakpattan district has solved 200 rape and sexual abuse cases in just two months.

SHO Kulsoom Fatima was appointed two months ago and in this small period, she manifested remarkable performance.

In an interview to British Broadcasting Channel (BBC), she said that the incidents of sexual abuse of minor girls made her angry, but she was not able to do anything at that time.

She said she hoped to be on a position one day so she could do something for the little girls. “I got the opportunity. I was appointed as a sub-inspector in Punjab Police after passing the competitive exams.”

Fatima said that she was assigned the same task she had always wanted to do. She was handed over the cases that were related to women and minor girls.

District Police Officer (DPO) Pakpattan, Ibadat Nisar had appointed Fatima as SHO at Model Police Station Daloryam. He said that the appointment of female officers in Pakpattan Police will help in dispensing justice to people.

Sexual assault – A rising epidemic

Pakistan enacted a new law namely “The Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010”. This was the first time that sexual harassment had been defined in Pakistan through a legislative instrument.

Before this enactment, there was no clear definition of harassment, whether at public, private or workplaces. Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code 1860, talked about “insulting the modesty” of a woman but there was no clear definition of “modesty”. Moreover, there was no law to prohibit harassment at workplace.

In 2010, Government of Pakistan not only enacted a special law for preventing sexual harassment at workplace but also amended section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code.

Now it clearly defines sexual harassment and includes harassment at workplace as well. It has also raised the maximum punishment for perpetrator from one to three years. Now under section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code, insulting the modesty of women or sexually harassing them, is a crime.

Read more: Another ‘Zainab’ raped and killed in Jaranwala: An epidemic of child sexual abuse in Pakistan

The perpetrator of this crime may be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to 3 years or fine up to PKR 500,000 (5 lakh) or with both. However, this crime is still bailable and compoundable (parties can settle the case between themselves even when matter is in the court, after permission of the court).