Voices From a Pakistani Women’s Shelter — PICTURES

April 8, 2013, 12:01 p.m.

The Dast­ak Char­it­able Trust in Lahore, Pakistan, has giv­en shel­ter to more than 6,000 wo­men in crisis since 1990. Those served in­clude wo­men who are es­cap­ing do­mest­ic vi­ol­ence, state tor­ture, forced mar­riage, rape, or sexu­al ab­use. The fa­cil­ity of­fers tem­por­ary safe haven dur­ing which wo­men can re­ceive med­ic­al aid and leg­al coun­sel. When I vis­ited Dast­ak last month with a group of U.S. journ­al­ists, 29 wo­men and chil­dren were liv­ing at the shel­ter, which has a ca­pa­city of up to 40. Three of the Urdu-speak­ing shel­ter res­id­ents agreed to be in­ter­viewed through a trans­lat­or, and each asked that their names be changed to pseud­onyms in this re­port to pro­tect their pri­vacy.