Pakistan

Islamabad Inaugurates First Anti-Rape Crisis Centre at PIMS

In a landmark move to combat sexual violence, Islamabad has unveiled its first Anti-Rape Crisis Centre (ARCC) at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). This pioneering facility is designed to provide survivors with essential services, including confidential medical and legal support, in the aftermath of sexual assault.

A Collaborative Effort for Justice and Support

The establishment of the ARCC is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Law and Justice, the Ministry of Health, with backing from international partners such as the UK Government and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The centre’s creation is a direct response to the Anti-Rape (Trial and Investigation) Act, 2021, which calls for the formation of such centres across the country to ensure justice and comprehensive care for survivors.

Services Offered at the ARCC

The ARCC at PIMS is equipped to offer a range of services, from First Information Report (FIR) registration to evidence collection and medical examinations. These services are crucial in the pursuit of justice and in providing survivors with the support they need during such a traumatic time.

Leadership’s Commitment to Addressing Gender-Based Violence

During the inauguration, Mr. Raja Naeem Akbar, Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Justice, highlighted the centre’s role in addressing the critical issue of gender-based violence. He also stressed the importance of establishing more ARCCs at the provincial level to ensure nationwide assistance for survivors.

Extending Services Beyond the Capital

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Secretary of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC), emphasized the need to make these services accessible to communities outside Islamabad. He proposed leveraging technology, such as a helpline or an app, to help survivors easily access the centre’s services.

UK’s High Commissioner Applauds the Initiative

Ms. Jane Marriot, the UK’s High Commissioner, praised the establishment of the ARCC as a significant milestone in addressing gender-based violence in Pakistan. She expressed the UK’s pride in partnering with Pakistan on this critical initiative.

PIMS’ Dedication to Survivor Support

Prof. Dr. Rana Imran Sikandar, Executive Director of PIMS, assured that the hospital is committed to supporting survivors with respect, care, and confidentiality throughout their medical examination process.

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