CHILD ABUSE IN PAKISTAN: SOCIETAL FACTORS AND ROLE OF INSTITUTIONS
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Child abuse is on the rise in Pakistan and the major reason can be attributed to the unawareness of the people about religious teachings and guidelines regarding the treatment and rearing of the children. Moreover, there is an apprehension that they do not have knowledge and access to social welfare institutions working for the counselling, rescue and rehabilitation of children. One important factor may be that they are not considering the severity of the act and its implications for a child’s life, nor do they wish to address it considering its severity. A survey was conducted to seek answers to these questions and a scale was designed to get the responses. Lahore Division including Lahore, Sheikhupura, Kasur and Nankana Sahab was identified as population and 200 responses were collected and analyzed, both qualitatively and quantitatively, which reflects that generally people are aware of the rising menace of child victimization, and they take child sexual abuse as the worst form of all abuses. Majority of the respondents stated that there are injunctions in Islam regarding children and equally the similar proportion also admitted that those injunctions are not being propagated. Children are not a priority by many as gauged from the responses. Mostly of the respondents agreed that there are injunctions in Islam regarding children and mosque can play its role to bring about a change in the treatment of children by disseminating religious teachings. Research instrument was designed on personal and social level; therefore, it can be resolved through concerted efforts of individuals and institutions.
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