Sex­ual abuse of boys on the rise in Pak­istan

Kuwait Times - - INTERNAT IONAL -

IS­LAM­ABAD: The num­ber of young boys be­ing sex­u­ally abused in Pak­istan has in­creased this year, a new watch­dog re­port said yes­ter­day, with more boys be­tween the ages of six and 10 vic­tims than girls. In to­tal the num­ber of boys be­ing abused in­creased by 4.3 per­cent in the first half of 2015 com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to the study from Sahil, a non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion (NGO) work­ing against child sex abuse.

The re­port said that 178 boys aged six to 10 were abused com­pared to 150 girls of the same ages. “The rea­son for this is that more boys go out of home to play in the streets and are eas­ily trapped,” Mum­taz Go­har, a spokesman for Sahil said. “Many fam­i­lies also pre­fer not to re­port of­fences against the girls be­cause of defama­tion is­sues,” he said. The num­ber of women in­volved in sex­ual as­saults has in­creased alarm­ingly, with the re­port say­ing that 102 cases from Jan­uary to June in 2015 in­volved “fe­male abet­tors”-five times as many as the same pe­riod in 2014.

The re­port showed a de­cline of 221 in over­all abuse cases in­volv­ing chil­dren of all ages, with roughly nine chil­dren a day be­ing sex­u­ally abused over the first six months of 2015 in Pak­istan. The fig­ure for the first six months of 2015 was 1,565 com­pared with 1,786 for the same pe­riod last year. Sex is a taboo sub­ject in the deeply con­ser­va­tive Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­try. Activists work­ing to fight child abuse have said the prob­lem is wide­spread but dif­fi­cult to quan­tify be­cause vic­tims are of­ten un­will­ing to speak out.

Last year Sahil charted more than 3,500 reg­is­tered cases in to­tal, with a spokesman say­ing the true fig­ure could be as high as 10,000. Ear­lier this month Pak­istan took a step to­wards pun­ish­ing those guilty of abus­ing young girls with life im­pris­on­ment or even death af­ter an in­flu­en­tial par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee voted to amend cur­rent laws. The amend­ment only ap­pears to ad­dress the sex­ual abuse of girls aged un­der 14, not boys. In Au­gust, a huge scan­dal emerged in­volv­ing at least 280 chil­dren who lawyers said were filmed be­ing sex­u­ally abused, with their par­ents black­mailed over the footage. — AFP

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