‘Rehabilitation and counselling schemes short on infrastructure, budget, implementation’
There are no provisions to counsel the family or monitor the condition of the woman
Vocational training restricted to sewing, knitting
BANGALORE: A study on the state of State-run counselling and residential services for women facing violence, in 11 districts across Karnataka, unveils a grim picture of neglect. Shockingly, the policy documents for these schemes are replete with gender insensitivity and lack of vision in its approach towards helping and rehabilitation of these women, the study noted.
Conducted by Hengasara Hakkina Sangha, the survey showed that the primary strategy of the policy for rehabilitation services is to unite them with their families that reportedly have been abusive, without any provision or guidelines to counsel the family or monitor the condition of the woman once she returns. Vocational training too is restricted to sewing or knitting instead of equipping them with a skill to help them gain independence. “The approach is paternalistic and protective and taking moralistic stands on these women, who are even termed as ‘deviant’. There is even a provision to marry the girl to a good suitor,” pointed out Usha B.N, co-author of the study. Further, the financial aid earmarked for victims of domestic violence is a meagre Rs. 10,000.
The study found that all the State-funded services failed to provide a good support system for women facing violence. It focused on services provided by the Central Social Welfare Board and the Department of Women and Child Development, which include residential, counselling, rehabilitation services, short stay and shelter homes for women. Family Counselling Centres (FCC), santwanas and residential services were surveyed. The study found that the centres had been arbitrarily assigned. For instance, while Mysore had five santwanas, a larger district like Bellary had only two and Uttara Kannada one.