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Two young women die by suicide in Chitral

Two young women die by suicide in Chitral

Two young women died by suicide in Chitral, the authorities reported Tuesday.

They were between the ages of 19 to 20 years and had been friends.

Area residents claimed that they jumped into a river near their village, which is located near Tirich Mir, the highest peak in the Hindu Kush mountain range. The remote village has no internet or cellular services.

One body has been retrieved, while the rescue teams are searching for the other one.

Three suicides have been reported in three days in Upper Chitral. Two days ago, a 28-year-old woman died by suicide at her house.

Chitrali women have been the subject of multiple studies as the area has an extraordinarily high suicide rate. In Ghizer, for example, 15 out of every 100,000 women had committed suicide. The depression rates are high because of poverty, a lack of spousal support and harsh living and climate conditions.

Approximately 150 people, mostly young women, have killed themselves in Chitral in the last 10 years, according to lawyer and rights activist Niaz A Niazi. Police data shows that 13 women killed themselves in Chitral from November 2017 to April 2018. Five others made unsuccessful attempts. In Gilgit, residents say that 125 people did it in the past seven years

In 2019, there was news that a suicide hotline would be set up.

The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme revealed in a 2012 study that 74% of marriages of Chitrali women with men from other areas, especially Punjab, turned out to be fake. Some of these women were brought from Chitral and made domestic helpers. Others were forced into prostitution.

Last week the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unanimously passed a resolution that made it compulsory for men who wish to marry Chitrali women to apply for no-objection certificates.

Wazir Zada, who tabled the resolution, explained that many non-Chitralis have been taking advantage of the poverty of the Chitrali people, who are, by and large, not affluent. Most of these men have no intention of having long-term relationships. A vicious trend had started of abuse, domestic violence, and even murder.

Suicide prevention

Here’s what you should do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:

• Do not leave the person alone.

• Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

• Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

• You can get in touch with the following mental health helplines and speak to them.

  • Mind Organisation 042 35761999
  • Umang 0317 4288665
  • 0333 4065139
  • Baat Karo 0335 5743344
  • Taskeen 0332 5267936
  • Rooh 0333 3337664
  • Rozan 0800-22444
  • OpenCounseling 042 35761999

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