March 21, 2023
At least 12 children are sexually abused every day in Pakistan, according to the updated annual report of ‘Cruel Numbers’ by NGO Sahil, which focuses on statistics of child sexual abuse cases (CSA) which have been reported by newspapers. The data was taken from 81 newspaper all over Pakistan.
During the year of 2022, news media has reported cases of at least 4,253 children – both boys and girls.
In 2021, Cruel Numbers data revealed that 2,325 girls and 1,928 boys had been victims of sexual abuse. This means that there has been a 33 percent increase since 2021.
GENDER & AGE
The gender divide that arises from the data, shows that out of the total reported cases of child abuse, 2271 (55%) of victims were girls, while 1,928 (45%) were boys. Every year, thousands of girls and boys in the country face sexual abuse and exploitation.
The general perception is that girls are more vulnerable to child sexual abuse. However, Sahil Cruel Numbers for the past three years has recorded more boys than girls. This year both girls and boys are almost equal in numbers of victims.
A total of 139 children from 0 to 5 years of age are victims of sexual abuse. A common perception is that infants and newborn children are safe but the report clearly reveals that this is not true. While unlike the previous year, more girls than boys are sexually abused from the age bracket (0-5).
In this age bracket, a total of 10 children were murdered after sexual abuse. More disturbing is the fact that the families knew the abusers in 91 percent of these cases. Most of the perpetrators are relatives or acquaintances – neighbors, uncles, or service providers who abuse such young children.
Out of 546 total numbers, 42% were girls and 58% cases of boys were from the age bracket of six to 10 years. The data also shows that, 56% victims of murder after CSA were boys. It is noted that more boys than girls were sexually abused by gangs.
This year a total of 9 cases were reported of pornography and CSA after the abduction.
The geographical distribution of the data shows that out of the total 4,253 reported cases, Punjab has the most cases.
In the year 2022, out of the total number of 4253 reported cases more than half 63% of cases were reported from these 10 districts out of these 10 districts, 9 districts from Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory. This year Faisalabad is on the top with 535 cases, followed by Rawalpindi 505 cases; Islamabad 360 cases; Kasur 340 cases; Sialkot 219
cases; Gujranwala 188 cases; Lahore 173 cases; Sargodha 147 cases; Vehari 110
cases, and Gujrat 105 cases.