Instances of violence and abuse against women and children are very common in the country but until recently the social set up of the society did not permit for it to be highlighted. Such stories are often kept under wraps in order to save the supposed honour of the families involved. The raid ordered by the Chief Minister (CM) of Punjab, Usman Buzdar, in Lahore the night before yesterday helped save the life of two minors who were being abused by none other than their own father.

The CM along with the police force must be commended for their prompt action against the alleged criminal. These stories of abuse have become a source of disgrace and a network that exists so intricately in the society must be dealt with cleverly by the society. A house which is dependent on the father to be the sole provider of resources, denying abuse can also have consequences. There is groundwork required to understand how deeply the problem affects the society and then mobilise the community and the police force accordingly to deal with the situation. The last government provided helplines and shelters for women who faced domestic violence. An extension of such a policy in this regard would speed up matters greatly.

Many a time, the reason why laws and rules are not implemented in the society despite great legislature is that they do not reflect the cultural dynamics of the society. In order to rid the society of its evils, along with laws and principles, what is required is social mobilisation and awareness campaigns to help people understand the laws at play when such instances occur and also providing them a safety net in case there are life threats involved. A great strategy that the last government adopted was to collaborate with a local theatre company which organised open theatres and through a play explained ideas of women empowerment. Such a personal connection with people and especially via the use of art helps people understand new ideas and implement them.

The story of these two young girls shows how their mother was also helpless in the case because the father is the head of the family and tortured his way around with the family. This is a stark reality of our society and the framework which is required now is not just to empower the spouse who witnesses abuse but also work on a framework that allows minors to reach out to the authorities. This is just one case amongst many others and the investigation should not end here.