KARACHI - Madadgaar Helpline, an NGO has lauded the National Assembly for passing the bill against Domestic Violence. It is a victory of the civil society and the media, said Zia Awan Advocate, Head of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) while addressing a press conference along with Nasim Shad, Deputy Program Coordinator LHRLA here at his office on Wednesday. He said that the bill should be tabled before the Senate at the earliest so that it could be furthered as the law. He said that domestic violence is the most serious issue faced by the society today, while his organisation has been struggling to highlight the issues pertaining to violence against women and children and the LHRLA has played a vital role in this regard. Zia said that the majority of violence against the two weakest segments of the society, women and children, were reported in Sindh, but the failure of the relevant authorities to come up with an effective strategy has encouraged increase in this particular kind of violence. He provided the details of the cases of violence reported to Madadgaar from the first January to 30 June, 2009, in which 1,532 cases were reported for violence against women and children. Out of 1,532 cases, a total of 1,078 cases were pertaining to domestic violence, immolation, marriage of liking, forced marriage, harassment, human trade, murder and violence, honor Killings, police brutality, kidnapping for ransom, sexual molestation and mystery disappearance were filed. During the last 9 years, Madadgaar Help Line has received a total of 97,845 calls on the basis of which 17,356 cases were lodged on the complaints of women and children victims of violence, who visited Madadgaar Centers. Similarly, during the first six months at least, 593 incidents of violence were reported against women across the country, in which 341 women were murdered and 142 were killed after being molested. In addition, 132 incidents of gang rape, 232 incidents of rape, 677 cases of physical torture, 248 incidents of police torture, and 390 cases of Karokari (Honor Killings) were also reported. Furthermore, 202 cases of acid throwing/immolation, 84 cases of Hudood/Zina, 234 suicides, 219 cases of buying/selling, 297 cases of kidnap for ransom; 184 cases of forced marriage, 204 cases of Wani and Swara as per the decision of jirgas against women also happened. Most of the incidents of violence against women took place in Punjab which is at top of the list with 1,628 cases followed by 1,005 in Sindh, 795 in NWFP and 165 in the province of Balochistan. During the first six months of the current year, 2,763 incidents of violence against children were reported. This included 200 murders, 312 acts of physical violence, molestation of 249 young girls, 121 incidents of sodomy against young boys, 318 cases of mystery disappearance, 133 incidents of Karokari (Honor Killing), 199 incidents of police torture, 180 cases of child trading, 441 cases of kidnapping for ransom, 274 cases of child forced marriage and 191 cases of Wani and Sawara as per the diktat of tribal jirgas. The majority of these incidents also took place in Punjab with 1,285 cases followed by 726 in Sindh, 619 in NWFP and 133 in Balochistan.