‘Sexual harassment doesn’t just include physical contact’

Creating awareness: Officials with women employees of Adani Electricity Management Institute on its campus.

Creating awareness: Officials with women employees of Adani Electricity Management Institute on its campus.  

Police personnel, lawyers discuss prevention of crimes against women and children at seminar

Police officials and legal experts came together to discuss various aspects of crimes against women and children and measures that can be taken to prevent or address them, at Adani Electricity Management Institute (AEMI) last week.

The event was attended by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Rajendra Dabhade, assistant police inspector Surekha Dighe from the Crime Banch’s Crimes Against Women Cell, advocate Rajiv Shah and Mumbai District Legal Services secretary Vikram Singh Bhandari.

Ms. Dighe spoke about steps that parents and school administration can take to ensure security of children.

Referring to the Mumbai Police’s ‘Police Didi’ initiative, Ms. Dighe said, “Police Didi goes to various schools and tells children about good and bad touch. It is observed that the culprit in most child abuse cases is a person known to the victim. It can be a family member or a close friend.”

She said officers from the force visit private and public schools and teach minute details that can help one identify a person with wrong intentions. “We have even conducted workshops for principals and teachers.”

Mr. Dabhade said the Crime Branch and the special juvenile protection unit are working hard for the safety of public and registration of offences is increasing since people are aware.

The seminar, organised by Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited, also saw Mr. Shah explain the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act and its ambit.

“Sexual harassment doesn’t just include physical contact. Just staring at you, following you, implied or explicit promise of special treatment, threat of detrimental treatment, threat about present and future employment, interference with work or creating intimidating and hostile work environment are also considered an offence,” he said.

The advocate also said victims of sexual harassment at the workplace should always register complaints. “Tolerating work harassment is waiving off your constitutional rights,” he said.

Mr. Bhandari spoke about the need to build an environment that frightens the culprit and allows the survivor to walk with pride. He also touched upon the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

“Both girls and boys are victims of sexual abuse in India. The POCSO Act has provided protection to these children irrespective of their gender. Under the ‘Manodhairya Scheme’, we provide financial assistance to the families of the child who has undergone such assault. Any person having the knowledge of such an assault can report it in any police station. If a person knowingly hides such information, they can also be punished under the POCSO Act,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:11:37 PM |

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