OSCs may not be ready to handle victims of acid attack

OSCs may not be ready to handle victims of acid attack

The existing infrastructure at the one stop centres (OSCs) at government hospitals in the Capital may not be adequate if the services are extended to acid attack survivors and victims of domestic violence.

Currently, the centres cater to rape survivors.
A draft of the standard operating procedures (SOP) was submitted by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to the High Court recently on the OSCs to also cater to acid attack survivors and victims of domestic violence.

However, the first need would be to boost infrastructure and staff strength if this happens, pointed out a senior doctor and an in-charge of an OSC at a government-run hospital here.
“The problem of staff crunch needs to be sorted if the services of OSCs are offered to victims of acid attack and domestic violence. Currently, counsellors arrive on call and there are no dedicated vehicles,” said the doctor.

With most OSCs offering only basic services till now there are chances that the attention given to rape survivors will be diluted, said another doctor, requesting anonymity.
It also needs to be demarcated which all OSCs will cater to acid attack victims as several hospitals are not equipped to deal with burn victims.

 In these cases, the survivors have to be referred to another hospital.
All stakeholders, including doctors from government hospitals, police, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) are involved in formulating the SOP.
 
There is a need that the OSCs cater to acid attack survivors and domestic violence victims because the victims are often at loss to understand whom to approach, according to a DSLSA officer.

“There are also days when the OSC does not even receive one case in a day. So there should not be any problem if the services of the centres are extended to acid attack survivors and victims of domestic violence,” said Surinder S Rathi, officer on special duty, DSLSA.

He pointed out if the other two categories are not included, it would be unfair.
“Where would the victims of domestic violence then go? The OSCs should cater to survivors of any form of violence and not only rape,” he said.

With several women being victims of domestic violence on a daily basis, the services of an OSC may come as a relief for them, said a counsellor with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).

Currently, the state-run Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, Lok Nayak Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital have OSCs.

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