Amidst a culture of harassment and violence against women, recently many helplines have been developed, on behalf of the government and private sector, to provide timely support to female victims and survivors of harassment.
There is barely a single Pakistani woman who will claim that she has never faced any kind of physical or mental violence in her life, but for the longest there have been very little or no proper platforms and organized channels in place, to address this menace.
However, recently the topic of women’s rights and safety is being acknowledged by both the government and private sector. And to address this menace, here is a comprehensive list of all the digits you need to know for support against harassment:
Punjab Commission on Status of Women (PCSW) Helpline: 1043
This helpline is for people facing harassment, gender-based discrimination, or violence. The helpline comprises all-women staff. People can also file a complaint form by going to the PSCW website:
Madadgar Helpline: 1098
Madadgaar is a helpline for women and children suffering from violence, abuse, and harassment, which provides counseling over the telephone and online mediums in addition to holding in-person sessions. Madadgaar also provides legal aid and referral services to survivors. The helpline started in 2001 with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). People can also file a complaint by email. The contact is email@example.com.
Sahil Helpline: 0800-13518
Sahil is an organization that essentially works on cases related to child sexual abuse. Sahil also provides psychological counseling to women under Jeet Healing Center.
Digital Rights Foundation (DRF)’s Cyber Harassment Helpline: 0800-39393
Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) is the first helpline dedicated to online harassment and violence. It was founded by digital rights activist and lawyer, Nighat Dad. DRF promises to provide fully confidential and free help and support to victims of digital harassment. Victims can call DRF’s toll-free helpline from Monday to Friday (9 AM to 5 PM). People can also file a complaint by email. The contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ab Aur Nahin Organization
Ab Aur Nahi is a site that provides Pakistani women with counseling and legal aid in cases related to domestic violence and sexual harassment. It is beneficial for women with limited resources as it provides pro bono services via its pool of lawyers. This initiative was also started by Nighat Dad. People can also file a complaint by email. The contact is email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
PSCA and PSCW Application
Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) and the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) launched the Women Safety App in 2017. The app allows women to mark places where they don’t feel comfortable in as “unsafe” or dangerous. It includes a crisis button that allows women to alert the police so a team can be dispatched to tackle the situation.
Hamara Internet Application
This smartphone application allows people to report cases of cyber harassment.
FIA Cybercrime Wing
The Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) is one of the most influential organizations supporting harassment victims.
Now you may wonder, “Is there really a need to put appropriate mechanisms in place?” To answer this question, according to reports, Pakistan is ranked as the 6th most dangerous country in the world for women and the second worst in the world (ranked 148th) in terms of gender equality.