Frequently asked questions about the “KP Domestic Violence (Protection And Prevention Act) 2021”
Here's everything you need to know!
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Provincial Assembly passed the “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Domestic Violence Against Women (Protection and Prevention) Act, 2021” in January 2021. Under the law, women and girls of the province are offered protection against all forms of domestic violence, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and economical.
According to reports, the law defines domestic violence as:
Any action against another person that causes physical, emotional, psychological, economic, or sexual harm. Shouting and threatening physical abuse are also considered domestic violence.
According to the #KPDomesticViolenceACT2021, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and economic abuse are all forms of violence. #KnowYourRights #ProtectionAgainstDomesticViolence pic.twitter.com/6cmjJSsdL9
— PYCA (@PYCAPk) November 10, 2021
About the Law
The act acknowledges that women and young girls are often the most common victims of domestic violence. Significant reasons why this happens are:
- Lack of economic empowerment
- Limited awareness about one’s own rights
- Lack of education
#ProtectionAgainstDomesticViolence can be achieved through greater economic empowerment and education and by challenging falsified socio-cultural beliefs.#KPDomesticViolenceACT2021 pic.twitter.com/fxBjXtegzf
— PYCA (@PYCAPk) November 29, 2021
The KP Domestic Violence against Women (Prevention and Protection) ACT, 2021, pledges speedy resolutions to domestic violence complaints and has several provisions for living up to this promise. District Protection Committees have been formed under the law that will be responsible for handling matters of domestic violence and violations of women’s rights. These committees will be responsible for educating and informing women about their rights to protect them against domestic violence.
— PYCA (@PYCAPk) December 2, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions about the Law
1. Can a domestic violence complaint be filed?
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, then a complaint can either directly be filed at the district or session courts, (or) the District Protection Committee can be reached out to seek help.
2. Who can file the domestic violence complaint?
A complaint can be filed at the session judge’s court by the survivor of domestic abuse herself, the guardian on behalf of the survivor, or through the District Protection Committee.
3. What happens after the domestic violence complaint is filed?
The courts are bound to provide a resolution within 60 days of receiving a domestic violence complaint.
4. What happens if the accused is found guilty of committing domestic violence?
An accused, when found guilty, may be sent to prison for a minimum of 1 year and up to 5 years (depending upon the case). The offender in domestic violence may also be fined per the Pakistan Penal Code.
5. What happens if a survivor does not wish to go to court?
Women and girls who do not wish to go to courts can also reach out to the District Protection Committee to resolve their complaints through mediation. In such a case, the District Protection Committee will nominate 3 mediators:
- 1 on behalf of the survivor
- 1 on behalf of the respondent
- 1 as a neutral party
The complaint can then be resolved through mediation.
6. Does the District Protection Committee provide support to survivors of domestic violence?
The District Protection Committees are tasked with providing legal, medical (including medical examination), psychosocial, and shelter-related support to the survivors of domestic violence.
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