THAT our legislators are taking up issues in Parliament such as domestic violence is, indeed, welcome. The approval of the Domestic Violence Act by the National Assembly is a step in the right direction. The bill has yet to become a law since it requires the approval from the Senate, but still it is good news for womenfolk in the country. It is comforting to know that the victims would be provided with quick justice because the magistrate hearing the case would have to give the decision within 30 days of the registration of the complaint. Punishment includes jail term for up to two years and a fine that would be paid to the victims. In Pakistan, women and children have been at the receiving end of domestic violence. One form, for instance, is that of stove burning, a crime that involves killing a woman by burning her up and later attributing the death to the stove explosion as if it was some accident. Likewise, women are regularly harassed in cases where division of property is concerned. The conditions in the rural areas owing to lack of education are simply worse because broadly speaking, the culture there looks at womenfolk with a certain degree of disdain. They are suppressed in numerous ways, of which karo kari is a glaring example. Having said that, at the end of the day it all boils down to the basic question of the rule of law. In a system plagued by corruption and rampant lawlessness, it becomes quite hard for the victims to get justice.