Assembly passed the bill on Friday
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed the provincial domestic violence bill on Friday.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Domestic Violence against Women (Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2019, which will become a law after the governor signs it, will sentence offenders to jail for a minimum of one year and maximum of five years.
The bill includes punishment for “sexual abuse, psychological abuse, economic abuse, and stalking.”
It has defined economic abuse as the following:
Pscyhological abuses include the following conditions being faced by the survivor as a result of the oppressive behaviour of the accused person, including the limiting freedom of movement:
The bill says that a six-member District Protection Committee should be formed too. The committee will be responsible for telling people about their legal rights, assist survivors in seeking medical treatment, and assist survivors in relocating to a safer place.
The secretary of the committee has been instructed to report all domestic violence incidents, provide legal aid to survivors, maintain a list of all service provides legal aid or counselling, shelter homes, and medical facilities.
A helpline will also be set up for survivors.
The bill also says that people who file a “frivolous complaint” under this act will be fined Rs50,000.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only province in Pakistan that does not have a domestic violence law. It is a criminal offence in Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan.