What to do and where to go:
- Know that the law does offer you protection through the Child Marriage Restraint Act
- Know that even if the Nikah has been performed you can apply for dissolution of your marriage as
early as possible and before you are sent away, if you have been forced into this marriage and wish to get out of it
- Know that if you are under 16 your marriage is illegal and it can be annulled
- Take a look at the laws in the section on laws related to Child marriages to make yourself aware of the ways the law offers you protection
- Look up the section on this site for numbers and addresses of Helplines and organizations that will provide you help & support & call any of the following:
- APWA Helpline between 2 to 6 PM, where a lawyer would be able to offer advice as well as fight your case in court
- Madadgaar Helpline between 7 AM to 7 PM, where LHRLA can offer advice and help in getting you to a lawyer
- PAWLA, where women’s lawyers will be able to advise you
- Panah Shelter Home in case you need a safe place to stay and provide you support & legal help
These organizations will also help you prepare and take you to court for your statement.
In cases of violence that are rooted in customary practices of tribes or a particular society your best friends and support are women’s rights and human rights organizations nearest to you.
Women within the community need to become aware that they are the best support system against their society when they suffer from customary practices & societal violence
There is little action a child can be expected to take directly herself. It is obvious, that little girls would be unaware of what is being done to them and therefore there is no question of them putting up any resistance to child marriage and the Government needs to play its role.
This abuse will need to be dealt with through the active participation of human rights & women’s rights organizations.
However, even girl children should be provided with Helpline phone numbers to call if they feel something is being done to them that they are scared of or feel are wrong.
The Human Rights Cell at the Supreme Court should be monitored and be able to receive calls for help so that it can respond to by taking suo motto action.
It is important for women to know the ways in which the Constitution & laws of Pakistan offer women protection and public awareness ads can be a great help to inform women as well as make the perpetrators aware that the government is serious about eradicating violence.
Pakistan being a signatory to international Conventions of Human Rights as well as being a signatory to CEDAW does provide a small space and window of opportunity to seek redress and should seek help from International organizations to effectively implement its laws.
Redress should also be sought under our human rights in the Constitution and Government measures should be seen to be effective in this regard through NCSW in making policies, Ministry of Human Rights ensuring implementation of policies to safeguard women’s rights.