'Nirbhaya centres will be set up in every district'

Workshop on prevention of sexual harrassment at work place

To help the women victims of molestation, rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, Nirbhaya centres will be set up in every district, said Women and Child Welfare Department Principal Secretary Dr Amitha Prasad.

Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a one-day workshop on prevention of sexual harrassment at work place, here at Zilla Panchayat hall on Tuesday, she said that the office of the centre will be opened near DK SP office. The centre is being opened following the direction of the Central government.

In Kerala, Onestop centre has been opened in 2009, and Santwana centres were opened in Karnataka in 2012. The centre will provide victims with medical assistance and, police assistance. The centre will have a physician and a women constable. If any women is facing any threat, then she can visit the centre.

She said that district hospital also has a responsibility to help who have been sexually assaulted. One room in a district hospital will be earmarked for the purpose. As women who have undergone the trauma can not reveal the incidents again, she will be treated in the room to maintain privacy. Even police have to record her statement there itself.

Medical superintendent will be incharge of treating her in the room, she added.

Stating that there are 174 Santwana centres in the State, Amitha Prasad said that 24 new Santwana centres will be started shortly. The government has decided to hike the honorarium of the volunteer who work in the Santwana kendra from Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000.

It has also been proposed to provide compensation upto Rs 1 lakh for the victims by converging the compensation amount available in various  departments.

‘Mother’s forum’

Earlier, speaking at the workshop, she said there is a need to teach moral values and culture among children to check rise in sexual assault cases in the society. Hence, the government has decided to constitute ‘mother’s forum’ in every gram panchayat and wards of the City Corporation.

“There is a need to teach values to the children at very young age.” A women committee should be constituted in an organisation that has more than 15 women staff. The committee should be formed at the district level.

Pending cases

State Women Commission President Manjula Manasa said that 1,650 cases are pending for disposal before the Commission. In a few cases, while filing complaint to the police, and minister, many complainants attach a copy to the Women Commission.

She refused to comment on Maitreya incident as the matter is before the court.

DC A B Ibrahim said that women complaint redressal committee has been constituted in DK. The committee has received five complaints. In the last five years, 1,113 sexual assault cases have been registered in the police stations, of which, 710 cases have been disposed off. State Women Commission Members Pushpalatha, Shyamala Bhandary and women and child welfare department Deputy Director Gatrude Veigas were present.

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