House panel submits report on women, child safety

Lack of coordination among govt depts reason for low conviction rates in sexual assault cases, says committee

House panel submits report  on women, child safety

The lack of coordination among government departments is one of the main reasons why the State is unable to counter cases of atrocities on women and children, according to a recent report.

The House Committee on Safety of Women and Children, which submitted its preliminary report to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday, has revealed that lack of coordination among departments, such as Education, Police, Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, is one of the major contributing factors for the non-prevention and low conviction rates in sexual assault cases.

Lackadaisical attitudes and lack of awareness about rules and regulations by officials concerned is also adding to the problem, as per the report. 

The committee, headed by Congress MLC V S Ugrappa, has made 18 general recommendations and 10 specific recommendations in its 50 page report. Pressing for mandatory verification of staff, especially security personnel and drivers in educational institutions and hospitals, the panel has also recommended that badges/ID cards be furnished by the jurisdictional police, in addition to maintaining a database of employees. The same should be done with regard to drivers of private and public transport vehicles. If not, owners of these vehicles will be held liable as abettors.

Tha panel has suggested that the police and Education department officials should mandatorily frequent educational institutions and address problems/lacunae, if any. An everyday beat system should also be introduced by jurisdictional police. CCTVs should be installed at entry and exit points of buildings. Cameras should also be installed at all the bus stands, according to the report.

Victim protection
According to the report, authorities have completely failed to protect victims and most witnesses turn hostile due to which victim compensation has taken a hit.

The panel has also recommended that the State government amend rules and ensure speedy compensation of victims by setting up a committee comprising officials from the district administration, police, Women and Child Development and Social Welfare department.

Citing that the ‘two finger test’ is still being conducted by doctors at various hospitals across the State, the committee has urged the government to put an end to this method of medical examination of sexual assault victims.

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