Violence against women on the rise in Pakistan

talaal jabbar
Posted February 28, 2020 from Pakistan
Violence against women on the rise in Pakistan
Violence against women on the rise in Pakistan

Pakistan ranks as the sixth most dangerous country in the world for women, with cases of sexual crimes and domestic violence recording a rapid rise. Activists blame society's patriarchal attitudes for the problem.

40-year-old Shazia S. was busy talking to her daughter at her parents-in-law's house in Lahore. The mother of six barely had any idea what awaited her. Her husband Sajjad R., a mason by profession, suddenly turned up and asked her to accompany him. She was surprised, but went with him nonetheless.

"He grabbed me firmly, shoving me against the wall and unleashing a barrage of kicks and slaps," Shazia told DW. "Then he picked up a metal pipe and started hitting me mercilessly," she added. Shazia's husband suspected that his wife was having an extramarital relationship. He kept asking about it while hitting me and wouldn't listen to me even though I stressed that I wasn't having any extramarital affair, she said. 

Read more: A daughter killed by her family – a story of love and 'honor'

Sajjad even threatened to kill her and used his knife to cut off her nose, Shazia said. "No one could hear my cries because he had tightly locked the door. He also inflicted wounds on other parts of my body, including my neck, and then fled. He left me bleeding and crying for help," she recollected. 

After the ordeal, Shazia's neighbors took her to a hospital, where she was treated. The doctors said they couldn't fix her nose with plastic surgery, but that she could try and get some treatment abroad.

Amjad Ali, an investigating officer in the case, told DW that the police raided various locations to nab the accused, but could not find him. Shazia's husband has now received bail and the court hearings of the case are set to take place in the coming weeks.

"The police failed to arrest my husband, who managed to get bail even before his arrest," Shazia said. "He came back to our area just the other day and told one of the residents that he chopped off my nose to teach me a lesson and save his honor, because he suspected me of meeting another man." 

Pakistan ranks as the sixth most dangerous country in the world for women, with cases of sexual crimes and domestic violence recording a rapid rise. Activists blame society's patriarchal attitudes for the problem.

40-year-old Shazia S. was busy talking to her daughter at her parents-in-law's house in Lahore. The mother of six barely had any idea what awaited her. Her husband Sajjad R., a mason by profession, suddenly turned up and asked her to accompany him. She was surprised, but went with him nonetheless.

"He grabbed me firmly, shoving me against the wall and unleashing a barrage of kicks and slaps," Shazia told DW. "Then he picked up a metal pipe and started hitting me mercilessly," she added. Shazia's husband suspected that his wife was having an extramarital relationship. He kept asking about it while hitting me and wouldn't listen to me even though I stressed that I wasn't having any extramarital affair, she said. 

Read more: A daughter killed by her family – a story of love and 'honor'

Sajjad even threatened to kill her and used his knife to cut off her nose, Shazia said. "No one could hear my cries because he had tightly locked the door. He also inflicted wounds on other parts of my body, including my neck, and then fled. He left me bleeding and crying for help," she recollected. 

After the ordeal, Shazia's neighbors took her to a hospital, where she was treated. The doctors said they couldn't fix her nose with plastic surgery, but that she could try and get some treatment abroad.

Amjad Ali, an investigating officer in the case, told DW that the police raided various locations to nab the accused, but could not find him. Shazia's husband has now received bail and the court hearings of the case are set to take place in the coming weeks.

"The police failed to arrest my husband, who managed to get bail even before his arrest," Shazia said. "He came back to our area just the other day and told one of the residents that he chopped off my nose to teach me a lesson and save his honor, because he suspected me of meeting another man." 

Shazia, who is now living with her mother in Lahore, fears for her life. Her husband wants her to withdraw the case against him. But she says she cannot imagine living together with a person who has ruined her life. She is also afraid that her father-in-law, a retired police official, might influence the authorities and seek to compromise the legal case against his son. Shazia stressed that she would not let her husband go scot-free.

Comments 4

Log in or register to post comments
Jill Langhus
Feb 29
Feb 29

Hi Talaal,

Welcome back! Thanks for sharing Shazia's sad story. I'm glad she isn't giving in to his demands. She should have rights and his behavior shouldn't be acceptable. I'm really sorry to hear that violence toward women in Pakistan is on the rise. What solutions do you have to rectify this heinous problem?

Anita Shrestha
Feb 29
Feb 29

Thank you for sharing

Beth Lacey
Mar 02
Mar 02

I hope Shazia is able to stand strong

Hi Talaal,

How horrible this is! I am angered by what Shazia's husband did to her. To think he only "suspected" that she has an affair. Please let her go on with the case against him. I hope she gets the protection she needs.