At least 222 cases of sexual abuse against children were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) between May 2011 and December 2017, statistics released by KP Child Protection and Welfare Commission show.

The district-wise statistics on sexual violence and abuse directed at children reveal that 155 victims were male and 67 female.

The highest number of such cases, 38, was reported in Abbottabad. Among other districts, 37 cases were reported from Swabi, 35 from Mardan and 30 from Charsadda.

The data reveals that a total of 29,026 vulnerable children were registered with the department during the period, of which 17,794 were males, 11,226 females and six transgenders.

A total of 257 cases of violence against children were also reported with the commission while 156 cases of drug addiction among children were reported.

Since the beginning of 2018, there has been a marked upsurge in the reporting of sexual abuse cases across Pakistan. The brutal rape and murder of Zainab Ansari in Kasur earlier this month in particular shocked the entire country, with #JusticeforZainab becoming the rallying cry in a nationwide drive to end violence against children.

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