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Population size: 

220.9 million [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Ever-partnered women aged 15-49 reported Women who have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime: 24.5 %.

Women who have experienced physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the last 12 months: 14.5% [2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

"Government officials reported a 25% increase in domestic violence incidents during the lockdown across the eastern Punjab province, with authorities registering 3,217 cases between March and May" [3]

Current law and policy:

On March 8th 2020, Prime Minister Imran Khan committed to ensure equal rights for women. [4]

Speaking on International Women’s day 2020 the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, reaffirmed his pledge to take all measure that would help women in Pakistan lead safe, secure and prosperous lives. Furthermore, he stated that inclusive and sustainable socio - economic development in Pakistan could only be ensured by providing equal opportunities and a conducive environment to women. [5]

Pakistan has made some progress in passing domestic violence legislation, but these laws have had to contend with ingrained patriarchal notions that violence and abuse within the home are “family matters”. [6]  Three of Pakistan’s four provinces have passed specific legislation on domestic violence. Sindh province passed The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act in 2013.  This Act criminalised domestic violence and set out criminal penalties and stipulated the creation of safe houses. Nevertheless, this law has faced substantial criticism from members of the judiciary over consistent gaps in its implementation. [7]

Finally, the proposed National Domestic Violence (Protection and Prevention) Bill announced on the 7th July 2020, by the Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari (via Twitter), could offer further legal protection. [8]



[1] Worldometer, “Pakistan Population (Live)”, (

[2] National Institute of Population Studies - NIPS/Pakistan and ICF. 2019. Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2017-18. Islamabad, Pakistan, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: NIPS and ICF



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