Content Warning: Description of rape and sexual assault
Did you know that the police are obligated under the law to come to take your statement to register a case of rape?
In this video, Part I of III, we are pleased to feature one of the sharpest and most discerning legal minds of our time when it comes to gender-based and sexual violence, Mr. Sohail Akbar Warraich. He obtained his LL.M from University of Warwick in Law and Development in 2001. A meticulous researcher, Sohail Akbar Warraich, has been working for over 25 years on law and policy reform relating to personal status laws and issues of violence against women. He has served as the Pakistan Country Researcher for Amnesty International as well as a member of the National Commission on the Status of Women. In his work with Shirkat Gah, he has headed advice and litigation in family law and violence against women, among others and has conducted several paralegal trainings, provided input on policies on women’s’ rights and advocacy initiatives. He has trained judges on the recently established gender-based violence courts. He is also actively involved with Ajoka Theatre and is an illustrative actor working to create awareness on social issues through drama and arts.
Pakistan has recently reformed its anti-rape laws introducing new mechanisms for investigation and trial methods. In this video, Mr. Warraich explains the amendments brought in the Pakistan Penal Code which alter the definition of the offence of rape under Section 375. Furthermore, he explains the procedure of reporting rape and the rights available to victims of rape under the law when it comes to registering a complaint. Many of these rights had been previously introduced in 2016, however, the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Act, 2021 aims to create special anti-rape crisis cells.
Many survivors of rape are hesitant to file an FIR due to fears of further harassment and victimisation. However, many facilities have been recently introduced in the law to aid the victims in reporting rape cases. Information is power. Keep an eye out for more videos in this series to make yourself aware of what is involved in reporting rape cases and your rights in the process.