'Create awareness on sexual atrocities'

It is an attempt to make students aware of legal protection

A meeting of the citizens and representatives from like-minded organisations convened at NGO hall on Thursday, has decided to conduct awareness programmes for students of various colleges in the city in an attempt to make them aware of the legal protection and steps to be taken in case of sexual atrocities against women and during the incidents of moral policing.

The decision was taken up in the backdrop of rise in the number of sexual assault and moral policing incidents in the district, including the recent incident of kidnapping and blackmailing two medical college students at Deralakatte. Addressing the gathering, Child Welfare Committee Chairperson and advocate Asha Nayak rued at the mindset of society towards the victims of sexual assaults and moral policing. Normally when such incidents take place, the civil society supports the victim only in the initial stage, till the case is filed with the police. But, the society does not bother about rehabilitating the victim. 

Referring to a few such incidents, she said, as a result of the incident, the victims are mostly ostracised from the educational institution where they have been studying. Neither the institution supports the victim, nor the family extends support. An atmosphere has to be created, where the victim not only files complaint and pursues the case, but also continues her education in the same institution without any hassle. Lack of family support only adds to the trauma of the victim, she pointed.

Supporting her opinion, Forum Against Atrocity on Women Convenor Vidya Dinker suggested to form a team of lawyers in the city who can assist the victims of sexual assault and moral policing. “If a team of lawyers is ready, whom the victims can contact and seek legal help following such incidents, it would be of great help,” she said.Rationalist Narendra Nayak criticised the educational institutions for not standing by the victims during tough times. The meeting decided to create gender sensitivity in the society and to educate police, college authorities and lecturers on how to respond sensibly when such instances occur. The organisations have planned to approach the vice chancellors of government and private universities and discuss the issue.

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