Pakistani digital platform offers women avenues to report, seek advice related to GBV

Digital Rights Foundation relaunches ‘Ab Aur Nahin’, a  pro bono online portal for women seeking legal representation
Pakistani digital platform offers women avenues to report, seek advice related to GBV

November 2nd, 2023 (Lahore, Pakistan): Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) Pakistan is relaunching ‘Ab Aur Nahin’, a pro bono online portal for women seeking legal representation and psychological counselling in cases of harassment and gender-based violence. The website works by linking victims/survivors to helpful resources and connecting them with qualified and experienced pro bono lawyers so they receive all the help they need to combat the cycle of violence and abuse.

The aim of “Ab Aur Nahin” is to assist women in taking legal action against perpetrators. Women are discouraged due to a lack of resources and victim-blamed for reporting repeated gender-based violence they face in online and offline spaces. The portal Ab Aur Nahin currently has over 23 lawyers from across Pakistan, with diverse backgrounds. The portal will be expanding its database further in the future to include more lawyers from across the country. DRF recognizes the need for survivors experiencing gender-based violence to have holistic support, which is why the portal includes resources for mental health counseling.

DRF’s Executive Director Nighat Dad on the launch of the portal stated, “Women’s access to legal services and consultations are limited mainly due to shortage of funds and lack of institutional support. Ab Aur Nahin provides women the avenues to report and seek advice related to gender based violence whether online or offline to institutions. It is important that we provide support to survivors in their times of crisis and put an end to the ongoing femicide in the country.”

The Ab Aur Nahin portal has included lawyers from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations to ensure that access to legal services isn’t restricted and limited. DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline has been witness to the lack of institutional support and holistic support for women facing technology facilitated gender based violence in the country. The helpline since the six years of it’s operations has received a total number of 14,376 complaints with 59% of these complaints being from women. The Ab Aur Nahin portal is a step towards ensuring that women get effective legal representation and services when fighting against gender-based violence in Pakistan. 

Digital Rights Foundation is a registered research-based NGO in Pakistan. Founded in 2012, DRF focuses on ICTs to support human rights, inclusiveness, democratic processes, and digital governance. DRF works on issues of online free speech, privacy, data protection and online violence against women.

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Image Credit: Shehzil Malik

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