The Telegraph
Sunday , June 8 , 2014
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Cells for domestic violence victims

Ranchi, June 7: One-stop crisis management centres in all districts were necessary to check cases of domestic violence in Jharkhand.

Senior IAS officer and executive director of National Mission for Empowerment of Women Rashmi Singh pointed it out during a two-day workshop on “Strengthening Implementation of Laws on Domestic Violence and Child Marriage” that ended in Ranchi today.

The workshop, which was organised by National Mission for Empowerment of Women, CREA, Women Power Connect and other agencies working for child and women welfare, saw active participation from NGO workers, civil society representatives and government officials.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Singh said that the crisis management centres had been effective in a number of states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. “The module should be implemented in Jharkhand, too. A deadline of December 2014 has been fixed to start the much-needed venture,” Singh said.

Modalities of setting up such centres were discussed at the workshop.

“A crisis management centre should be equipped with medical and legal cells to provide immediate help to victims. Most women don’t know where to report their grievances. Often, they don’t come forward fearing that reporting their problems will lead to more harassment,” said Singh.

CREA programme manager Shalini Singh said domestic violence was an unspoken subject in every home. “Women don’t realise that they are being violated. Often physical violence on a woman in the family is attributed to cultural stipulations. Often, abuses and assaults from the husband are accepted by a woman as a natural consequence of matrimony,” she added.

Kiran Kumari, the programme co-ordinator of Deoghar-based outfit Prerna Bharti, said providing relief to a victim of domestic violence should be prioritised over punishing the offenders. Sensitisation of police was also important, she added.

“In most cases, police speedily arrest offenders and lodge cases under the Indian Penal Code instead of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. So, providing relief to the victim takes a back seat and the focus shifts to the punishment of the offenders.

“On the other hand, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, focuses on rescuing the victim and provide relief to her through support and rehabilitation. Lodging cases under the penal code also negates any possibility of the couple’s reconciliation,” Kumari added.

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