ABBOTTABAD: A three-year-old girl has been killed after sexual abuse in Havelian area of Abbottabad, sources said on Thursday.

Local sources said the girl, Faryal went missing from outside her house on Tuesday and a report in this regard was filed with Havelian Police Station. Police said they initiated search for the missing girl after filing the report and found her body in a deserted place on Wednesday.

The post mortem report showed that the little girl was subjected to sexual abuse and then thrown in a deserted place under the open sky in unconscious condition due to which she died. The body of Faryal was handed over to her family after completion of legal formalities after which the police initiated search to arrest the culprits.

Sahil, an NGO working on protection of children against violence, recently released a report stating that child sexual abuse cases in Pakistan have increased from nine cases per day in 2017 to 12 cases per day in the first six months of 2018. The data also revealed that children in the age brackets of six-10 and 11-15 are most vulnerable to abuse.

On 9 January this year, the case surfaced in Kasur district of Punjab where a seven-year-old girl, Zainab was killed after sexual abuse and her body was thrown at a garbage dump. The incident triggered violent protests in Kasur and rest of the country and after long investigations the culprit was eventually caught and he was hanged on 17 October. The incident proved to be a catalyst in informing the people of the country about the severe existing danger of sexual abuse of children and need for steps to protect children and act against culprits.

Campaigns were also launched in the country by the government, civil society and others to create awareness about the gravity of the situation. However, the incidents of children’s sexual abuse are regularly happening despite all that campaigning which means that much more needs to be done to counter the threat.

Just four days after the Kasur incident, a four-year-old girl, Asma was killed after sexual abuse in Mardan and the culprit was arrested and awarded life imprisonment and Rs1 million fine. After the Kasur and Mardan incidents, several other sexual abuse cases have been reported in the media.

On Wednesday, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested a middle-aged man on charges of sexually abusing children and then filming them. Few days ago, another man was arrested from Karachi on similar charges.

In such circumstances, it is now becoming increasingly important for the parents to teach their children how to prevent sexual abuse and how to escape from uncomfortable situations as it is virtually impossible for parents to always keep their children under their watch.

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