Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Women C. Manjula said that tolerance to suppression of women was making way for the easy escape of culprits of domestic and other types of violence. She appealed to women to come out and seek the help of the commission and the Department of Women Welfare to end such exploitation.

She was speaking at a public meeting jointly organised by the Garments Mahila Karmikara Munnade and CIVIDEP, India, a non-governmental organisation, under its programme “Hushaar!” here on Sunday.

Ms. Manjula attributed the phenomenon of cases of violence against women getting buried to lack of protection and support from society to the victims.

The commission had taken steps to register complaints from victims on the same day and direct the police to provide suitable protection.

She appealed to the Deputy Commissioners of the districts concerned to spend more time on accepting grievances of victims of domestic and other violence.

Domestic violence was on the rise in both lower and higher strata of society.

Women had been psychologically weakened leaving no option for them but to bear all sorts of exploitation, she said. She said the Government had promised that more funds would be allocated in the coming budget to the commission for its effective functioning.

Gita Menon of Stri Jagriti Samiti said the garment industry was the second largest revenue generating sector across the globe and women were the backbone of this. “Despite this, they are denied justice. Support from the police, law and government is not encouraging,” she said and advised women to have self-confidence to overcome violence.

PUCL leader Hasan Mansur said, “Living with respect and pride is a right of every human being and a voice should be raised whenever there is a threat to that.”

A booklet comprising poems on workers awareness and plastic water bottles bearing the slogan “Hushaar!” were released by the dignitaries.

As part of the programme, a street play was staged by “Shoonya troupe”.

Ratnamma, general secretary of Munnade, said the organisation had been creating awareness among working women by conducting street plays, radio campaigns and rallies.

Earlier, over 400 women garment workers took out a rally from Banappa Park to Senate Hall on Central College premises where the public meeting was held. They unanimously raised their voice against abuse, both physical and mental, at the work place.

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