Domestic violence is crime in Pak

A landmark bill that makes violence against women and children a criminal offence that carries prison terms and fines has been passed by the Pakistan’s parliament.

Under the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill that was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, those found guilty of beating women or children will face a minimum prison sentence of six months and a fine of at least Rs 100,000. In case of second violation, the imprisonment will be enhanced up to two years with a fine of Rs 200,000. The protection is also extended to the adopted, employed and domestic helps in a household.

The bill was introduced by Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar and was passed unanimously by the upper house of parliament. The National Assembly or the lower house of parliament had already cleared the bill in 2009, and it will become a law once President Asif Ali Zardari puts his seal on it. The law classifies domestic violence as acts of physical, sexual or mental assault, force, criminal intimidation, harassment, hurt, confinement and deprivation of economic or financial resources.

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