“Continuous intervention with families of women victims necessary”
“Please trace my teenaged daughter. I fear that she might have eloped and may have been sexually abused,” pleaded a woman from Melur with Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan at a recent meeting here.
The audience comprised family members of juvenile girls — all victims of offences such as eve-teasing, attempt to rape, and child marriage. The SP explained the steps taken by the Melur police, which had registered s cases of kidnap and girl- missing .
The SP, who reviewed pending cases at police stations in Madurai district related to torture of women, convened a meeting here on Thursday in which counsellors and police officers from the respective stations were present.
Terming the meeting with the victims’ families useful, Janet Shankar, secretary, Association for Social Health in India (Madurai Branch) and Associate Professor at Madurai Institute of Social Sciences (MISS), said that continuous intervention with the families of victims was necessary. “Counsellors alone cannot provide solutions. The role of public, media, police and other stakeholders is also crucial in the rehabilitation of affected women. Comforting the victims will assuage their feelings, and boost their morale and make them join the mainstream of society once again,” she said.
Crisis Intervention Centre
Attaching importance to this exercise, the central and state governments had established Crisis Intervention Centres (CIC) to provide solutions to problems of women.
The problems were diverse — for a teenaged girl, eve-teasing may be exasperating and sometimes force her to end her life. Instead of taking such an extreme step, the victim could approach the CIC for counselling and get relief, Ms. Shankar said and appealed to the women police officers to make use of the CIC, functioning at Gomathipuram here, with the coordination of Social Welfare Department officials.
“Many victims, who were physically abused from a young age, suffer mental agony and in some cases attempt suicide. Such victims get help at the CIC,” said counsellor Vijayalakshmi from the MISS.
At the meeting with women victims, Mr. Balakrishnan called Collector Anshul Mishra and got an assurance that a young widow and a mother of four girls was registered under the young widow pension scheme of the state government.
A flower vendor from Oomachikulam and his wife, a casual worker, narrated the ill treatment meted out at the police station when they sought help to trace their missing daughter. The SP assured them that the police would be instructed to handle petitioners more humanely.