Twelve children on average were subjected to sexual abuse every day in Pakistan from January to June 2023, according to a report published on Thursday by Sahil — a non-profit organisation that advocates for the protection of children.

The organisation, which has advocated against child abuse since 1996, stated that the “purpose of the data is to provide facts and figures about child sexual abuse (CSA) and its dynamics and to contribute to existing information on CSA in Pakistan”.

It should be noted that these figures are based on media reports, and the actual numbers may be far higher. Last year, Sahil said a total of 4,253 cases of child abuse were reported in the entire 2022, half of which were sexual abuse.

— Screenshot from Sahil Report
— Screenshot from Sahil Report

In 2023, the total number of abuse victims was 2,227 — up from 2,211 in the same period last year. Of the 2,227 victims, more than half (54pc) were girls. The number of boys abused had risen to 1,020, while cases of girls 1,207 remained the same as last year.

— Screenshot from Sahil Report
— Screenshot from Sahil Report

The report titled “Six Months Cruel Numbers 2023” stated that more boys (593) were abused than girls (457) within the age bracket of 6-15 years.

“The data reveals that this year, similarly to last year, the age group 6-15 years is the most vulnerable age group,” the report says.

“Out of the total cases, 47pc were in this age group (6-15 years). The graph shows victims of CSA are (593) boys and (457) were girls,” the report said.

— Screenshot from Sahil Report
— Screenshot from Sahil Report

According to the data, the cases of abduction continue to top the list of the crime category with 44pc of cases, 13pc cases of sodomy, 10pc of cases of rape and 9pc of cases of missing children were reported.

It stated that there were a total number of 53 pornographic cases were reported over the past six months with the Federal Investigation Agency tracking activities on the dark web.

— Screenshot from Sahil Report
— Screenshot from Sahil Report

“In the first six months, out of the total 53 reported cases of CSA and pornography, 72pc of victims were boys and 28pc of victims were girls,” the report said.

  — Screenshot from Sahil Report
— Screenshot from Sahil Report

According to the data collected by Sahil, 2,531 “abusers were involved in abusing children” during the first six months of 2023, and they were found to be related or known to the victims or their families in most cases.

The report said in 912 cases, the abusers were acquaintances in comparison to strangers committing the crime in 498 cases. In 215 cases, the abuse was committed by both strangers and acquaintances.

It added that in 16pc of the cases reported between January and June, the crime was committed at the “abuser’s place because the abusers trap innocent children and take them to their places”.

However, the place of abuse remained unidentified in most cases, the report said, adding that the abuse was committed in the streets in 31pc cases, at the victim’s place in 11pc cases, in the field in 4pc cases and at places of worship and educational institutes in 2pc cases.

Of all the cases, 88pc were registered with police while 25 cases were either not filed or police refused to register them.

Moreover, 45pc cases were reported from rural areas and 55pc from urban areas. A provincial breakdown showed that the highest number — 74pc — cases were reported from Punjab, followed by 14pc from Sindh, 7pc from Islamabad, 3pc from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the remaining 2pc from Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

According to data gathered by Sahil, a total number of 963 cases of accident/violence were allegedly reported against the children.

— Screenshot from Sahil Report
— Screenshot from Sahil Report

Out of the total number of victims, 760 died of which 268 had drowned, 148 were murdered, 144 had accidents and 61 children committed suicide.

— Screenshot from Sahil Report
— Screenshot from Sahil Report

Sindh reported the highest (483) number of cases with Punjab in second place (233).

— Photo courtesy: Report
— Photo courtesy: Report

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