‘Sakhi Centre’ in M’luru soon

One Stop Centre (OSC) or 'Sakhi Centre’ will be located next to the Women police station in Pandeshwar.

Kavitha (name changed) had approached the police in order to file a case against her traffickers. However, she had a harrowing experience making her regret over her decision to seek justice from police.

Forced to move from one department to another, the student-victim was on the verge of tears when police, including the woman constable on duty at Kavoor police station, begun to find fault with her.

Such traumatic experiences for women victims will be a thing of the past, with One Stop Centre (OSC) or ‘Sakhi Centre’ to become operational in Mangaluru Commissionerate soon.

Mangaluru Commissioner of Police Sandeep Patil confirmed that Mangaluru would be one of the commissionerates to have an OSC. As many as five OSCs were planned across Karnataka.

“The Sakhi centre will be located next to our Women police station in Pandeshwar. Logistics worth Rs 20 lakh had been procured and we are waiting for a few administrative directions,” Patil said.

“At Sakhi (a centre sponsored initiative) all women, including girls below 18 years of age, who are victims of sexual assault, trafficking and witch-hunting will receive counselling, medical and legal assistance under one roof. The system ensures minimum stress and helps in their speedy recovery from trauma,” Mangaluru Police Commissionerate’s Assistant Administrative Officer (AAO) Ravichandra said.

In order to ensure transparency in Sakhi, the higher-ups in police department had suggested to the commissionerate on forming an advisory committee, including a representative from an NGO, officer from WCD (women and child welfare department) and public, Ravichandra said.

He added that state government’s similar initiatives for women victims like ‘Gelathi’ will now merge with Sakhi.

Sakhi v/s Gelathi

‘Gelathi’ and ‘Visheha Mahila Ghataka’ involved tedious procedures forcing the victim to move from police station to the counsellor and to the hospital, and finally to the advocate’s office.

“With Sakhi providing integrated support and assistance to women, such inconveniences are avoided,” said Harshitha M V serving as a counsellor with Gelathi.

Victim-centric

Gelathi received cases of domestic abuse, sexual offence and cyber crime. OSCs will accept cases involving physical/sexual assault as well, she added. Victims will no longer be shamed by making them visit police station or general wards of a hospital.

Harshitha believes that one needs to feel the pain in order to heal the pain. Sakhi is one of the steps in that process, she added.

“This centre will be victim-centric,” Ravichandra said highlighting the working environment in the centre.

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