Chennai

Chennai Police’s support centre for women finds praise

The ‘Specialised Counselling and Support Centre for Women’, launched by the Chennai City Police at the Police Commissionerate in Vepery in July, has many success stories.

The police, in association with the Social Welfare Department, launched the centre to provide counselling and rehabilitative services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse, and dowry harassment, and to render psychological and legal counselling, and facilitate quick medical assistance to needy victims. It has been established under the Safe City Project to enable women’s safety in public places under the Centre’s Nirbhaya Fund.

Among those who came here is a woman in her thirties and her alcoholic husband, of a middle income group, facing unending quarrels. Violence led the woman to approach a local police station to book a case against her husband, opting for separation. The couple were brought by police personnel in plain clothes to the centre. Counsellors here had two sittings with them. As a result, the couple were reunited. While leaving the centre, the woman said, “My husband assured me that he would not drink hereafter. The counselling was useful for us to be able to lead life without any further issue in our relationship.”

Another woman, a victim of domestic violence, wrote to thank the staff at the centre, saying, “At first, I came here gripped with fear and anxiety. However, the counsellors here guided me and treated me so cordially. I got happiness and clarity in life. I have a rejuvenating life after counselling.”

Victims reach the centre through the Child Welfare Committee, Women’s Helpline, All Women Police Stations, and the Social Welfare Department. They can also reach the centre directly.

Commissioner of Police Shankar Jiwal, who has been monitoring the performance of the centre on a regular basis, said, “Our first analysis revealed that the support and counselling centre is useful for women and children in distress. Most of the persons availing the centre’s services have given positive feedback. We have four feeder lines — All Women Police Stations (AWPS), NGOs, Child Welfare Committees, and people on their own. There are eligible cases coming from AWPSs, referred here for counselling. For that, we are holding training sessions for the staff of AWPSs to equip themselves.”

Mr. Jiwal said that since the counsellors are performing well, he would request the Social Welfare Department to depute more counsellors, so that the services could be extended to more women and children in distress. He added that he would review the performance of the centre within a month and explore the possibility of extending counselling services to the homes of those affected.

The counselling centre has successfully assisted in 75 cases of matrimonial disputes, 42 cases of domestic violence, and also counselled victims in cases lodged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Joint Commissioner of Police B. Shamoondeswari said, “The objective of establishing the centre is to provide professional services like crisis intervention, independent inquiry in dowry death cases, and counselling in family maladjustment, and to make efforts for reconciliation in cases of separation. Most of the cases referred for counselling ended in success. To divert the mind of a child, counsellors also adopt art therapy. The counsellors are trying innovative methods to counsel the people who come here.”

People in distress can approach the centre via 044-23452436.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2022 9:14:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-polices-support-centre-for-women-finds-praise/article37355368.ece