Pilot project will be implemented in public hospitals across 100 districts

The government on Thursday announced setting up of ‘One Stop Crisis Centres’, a specialised facility for providing all necessary services for women subjected to violence.

President Pranab Mukherjee made a mention of this scheme in his speech to the joint session of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget session of Parliament.

The National Mission for Empowerment of Women will implement a pilot project in public hospitals in 100 districts, he said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs sent a detailed advisory to the States and Union Territories on September 4, 2009, carrying instructions to deal with cases of rape. Most important among these was the setting up of Rape Crisis Centres (RCCs) and specialised Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATUs).

The RCCs were to be set up by the Health Departments to help rape victims and facilitate coordination between the police and health department facilities for medical examination to establish forensic evidence and to treat the after-effects of trauma. Hence, these RCCs could act as an interface between the victims and other agencies.

The specialised Sexual Assault Treatment units were to be developed in government hospitals having a large maternity section. However, the proposal did not move forward.

Tackling harassment

“For ensuring a safe and secure environment for women in workplaces, the government introduced the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 in Parliament. The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha,” Mr. Mukherjee said in his speech.

“My government is also deeply concerned about incidents of sexual offences against women. After considering the recommendations of the Justice J.S. Verma Committee, the government has promulgated an ordinance, amending the criminal law to provide for stringent punishment for heinous sexual offences against women. The government has also begun to implement a series of administrative measures to improve the safety and security of women in the country,” the President added.

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