PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa registered 182 cases of child sexual abuse during the first eight months of the current year and arrested 235 accused nominated in the cases.

The police data for the period shows that of the total cases registered four related to murder after assault.

A breakdown of the cases shows that Dera Ismail Khan district topped the list with 34 cases of sexual assault against children.

The provincial capital reported 26 cases and Mardan registered 19 cases.

Swat district reported 17 cases, Nowshera 13, Kohat nine, Mansehra eight, Lower Dir, Swabi, Buner and Upper Dir seven each, Charsadda and Abbottabad five each.

Four cases each were reported in Karak, Lakki Marwat and Haripur districts, while three cases were reported from Bannu and Shangla districts, while Chitral and Torghar reported one case each.

Tank, Upper, Lower and Kolai Palash Kohistan districts and Battagram did not report any case of child sexual assault.

The four cases of murder after assault were reported in Mardan, Nowshera, Mansehra and Kohat.

Data of the merged districts is not included in the report.

The police data shows of the total 235 accused arrested for the offence across the province, 37 were arrested in Dera Ismail Khan, 35 in Peshawar, 26 in Mardan, 21 in Nowshera, 19 in Swat, 10 in Upper Dir, 11 in Buner and 12 in Kohat.

Nine accused were arrested from Charsadda and Lower Dir, seven from Swabi, six each from Karak and Haripur, five from Abbottabad, four each from Shangla and Lakki Marwat, three from Bannu and two from Chitral.

When contacted, provincial police chief Dr Sanaullah Abbasi told Dawn that the number of cases was less during the current year than the previous year, but more arrests were made this year.

Dr Abbasi said reporting of child sexual assault cases had also increased as families were reporting such cases which were previously kept under wraps due to social taboos.

He said increased reporting of such cases was an encouraging sign.

He said the police were also becoming more and more transparent in dealing with such cases.

He said social behaviour, trends and treatment must change to combat the horrific crime.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2020

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