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Pakistan edges closer to banning domestic violence
Violence against women is a widespread phenomenon in Pakistan, a Muslim-majority nation of 175 million where most people are poor, only half the adults can read and extremist ideologies, including the Taliban's, are gaining traction.
But a new bill banning domestic violence has come before Parliament. The bill lays out a broad definition of domestic violence beyond assault, including emotional abuse, stalking and wrongful confinement. Depriving a spouse of money or other resources needed to survive is also considered a violation.
The bill strives to cover everyone in a household, including elderly parents, children and husbands. It also sets up local "protection committees," which are required to include women and empowered to file complaints on behalf of victims.
Abusers can face months or years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if they violate court protection orders, the bill says.