Measures females can take to protect themselves

Violence against women concept

Violence against women remains a globally pervasive human rights violation. According to Care International, 1/3rd of women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence at the hands of men at some point in their lives.

“Regardless of where you live —- in a city or in a small town — if you drop your guard, there will be someone waiting to take advantage of you,” Steve Kardian.

Although personal safety is a concern for every individual, in today’s world women fear crime more than men, particularly about sexual assault. Women can deal with concerns about personal safety by practicing avoidance, learning self-defense techniques, keeping safety weapons with them.

Some practical measures that women can take to protect themselves are that women should take responsibility for their own safety, regularly take some defense classes, and exercising regularly to build their strength and thus be ably capable of defending themselves efficiently. Along with that by timely identifying risky situations, by trusting their gut feeling, and by using physical or verbal resistance women can protect themselves against possible chances of violence.

Helplines for Women:

Following are the helpline for women in Pakistan to report violence against them;

  1. Police Emergency: 15
  2. Rawalpindi Harassment Reporting Unit, Helpline: 111-276-797, Operational 24/7 (Only for Rawalpindi)
  3. National Highway and Motorway Police (NH & MP), Helpline: 130
  4. Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR), Helpline: 1099, WhatsApp: 0333-9085709, Operational Hours: 10AM-10PM, All Week
  5. Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) Women’s Protection, Helpline: 1043, Operational Hours: 24/7- All Week, (Only for Women)
  6. Bedari, Helpline: 0300-5251717, Operational Hours: Monday to Friday- 9AM to 5PM
  7. Dastak Foundation, Helpline: 0333-4161610, Operational Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9AM-5PM
  8. Rozan (Mental Health), Helpline: 0304-1111741, Operational Hours: 10AM-8PM, All Week
  9. Aurat Foundation, Helpline: 0800-22266

Self Defense Tools:

Women must carry self-defense gadgets and tools in order to protect themselves against any attack. These tools, when used on an attacker, can cause pain, disorientation and distraction, thus enabling you to escape. These non-lethal, self-defense tools are very affordable and easily accessible. But the question here arises that what kind of tools or gadgets women can use? There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to that question. It is advisable to carry more than one option. The possible options are following:

  1. Pepper spray
  2. Taser
  3. Swiss knife
  4. Stun gun
  5. Striking tools
  6. Pocket knife

List of Organizations Working For Women Welfare in Pakistan:

Following are the major organizations working in Pakistan for women’s welfare and empowerment

Government Organizations:

Government organizations also take the responsibility of deterring violence against women. Government must formulate rules and regulations to curb violence against women and prevent it from happening. Strict legislation should be formulated by lawmakers or legislators to stop the violence against women. Following are the major GOs working for women protection in Pakistan;

  • Ministry of Human Rights

Website: http://www.mohr.gov.pk/

Helpline: 1099, Contact No: 0333-9085709

  • PSCW Women’s Protection

Website: https://pcsw.punjab.gov.pk, Helpline: 1043

  • All Pakistan’s Women’s Association APWA

Website: https://apwapakistan.com , Contact: apwa1949@gmail.com, 0213-2252991

Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs):

  • Bedari Foundation

Website: https://www.thebedarifoundation.org , Contact No: 0300-5251717

  • Dastak Foundation

Website: https://dastakwelfarefoundation.org , Contact No: 0333-4161610

  • Aurat Foundation

Website: https://www.af.org.pk , Contact No: 0800-22266

  • Shahina Aftab Foundation

Website: https://safwomen.webs.com , Contact No: 03008556285

  • Acid Survivors

Website: https://asfpakistan.org , Contact No: +8801713010461

  • Kaarvan

Website: https://karwan.pk , Contact No: (042) 35857485

  • Aware Girls

Website: https://www.awaregirls.org , Contact No: 091-5863990

  • Shirkat Gah

Website: https://shirkatgah.org , Contact No: (042) 35838815

  • Kashaf Foundation

Website: https://kashf.org , Contact No: +92-42-111-981-981

Private Organizations:

Following are major private organizations working for women in Pakistan:

  • Sarim Burney Welfare Trust

Website: https://www.sarimburneytrust.org , Contact No:  (+92) 301-822-2267, (+92) 320-822-2267

  • Depliex Smile Again Foundation

Website: https://depilexsmileagain.com , Contact No: 0092 423 5692874-5, 0092 423 5890003

  • White Ribbon Pakistan

Website: https://whiteribbon.org.pk , Contact No: (042) 35882848

Violence against women is preventable. However, in order to respond to violence against women and to prevent it, a multi-stakeholder approach is necessary. Every sector of society must join their hands to be successful. There is a dire need for reforms in the government as well as the private sector to deter the violence against women. Lastly, it is better to be safe than sorry.