Five years have gone by since the Domestic Violence (Prevention & Protection) Act 2013 has been passed, which was supposed to provide relief to victims of domestic violence. Though it was a ray of hope at that time, like all the others the implementation is a failure.
The law was passed in March 2013, to honour the struggles of women rights activists, but the government neither appointed protection officers nor established protection committees as it was initially expected to. The law, that was initially perceived to be groundbreaking, only exists in the books now.
Speaking to a local news source, an official from Singh Government showed his reservations regarding the implementation process.
”Not a single committee has so far been formed in the last five years. The importance of the department can be gauged from its meagre development budget” – she said.
Another senior working officer, affiliated with the department of women development said that many schemes of the department were in doldrums but no attention is being paid to them.
According to the law, to grant asylum and relief to the victims of domestic violence, the women development department was to set up protection committees in each district. The committees had to perform the job of assisting them to avail any medical treatment required due to violence, help them escape the abusive households by reallocating them to a safe place & also helping them file any petition or report under this act. The committees also had to perform the job of maintaining the records of domestic violence victims in their jurisdictions.
Shehla Raza, women development minister, told the said reporting source that there was a ban on appointment and this is why the provincial government could not appoint protection officers.
“We already have 12 women development officers who will be given the task of women protection officers.” – Shehla said.
On being asked about the commission on domestic violence, she said that there is a provision about it in the law, but we will not make this commission.
“We have recently launched Sindh commission on the status of women, so there is no need for a separate body on it”. – she added.
Originally published in Express Tribune
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