Tamil Nadu

Child-friendly zones set up in six all-women police stations

SP M. Sree Abhinav at the child-friendly zone in the Sethiyathope AWPS in Cuddalore district.   | Photo Credit: Handout_E_Mail

The Cuddalore district police have created child-friendly spaces in the All Women Police Stations (AWPS) in Cuddalore, Panruti, Chidambaram, Sethiyathope, Neyveli and Virudhachalam. They are aimed at ensuring a friendly environment to children.

A number of women who approach the AWPS for lodging complaints, including domestic abuse, are invariably accompanied by their children.

The mothers bring their children as they cannot leave them alone at home.

“We wanted to have a safe and playful environment for the children and created child-friendly spaces. An enquiry will obviously take time.

“While the parents are meeting the police officers, the children will be taken to the spaces within the premises and kept there till the process is over,” says Superintendent of Police M. Sree Abhinav. Cartoon characters have been painted on the walls and colouring books and toys are also available to keep the children engaged.

The facility is similar to a crèche and has mats for kids to sleep, Mr. Abhinav also added.

According to Sethiyathope AWPS inspector Agnesh Mary, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012 mandates provisioning of child-friendly atmosphere.

As per the Act the victim has to be safeguarded at every stage of the judicial process by having child-friendly mechanisms for reporting and investigation.

“When victims of Pocso cases are brought to the AWPS, they initially refuse to talk as the incident has a tremendous effect on the mental health of the child. Now, we have tried to make the children comfortable by setting up child-friendly centres. The facility will also help provide an atmosphere of security to them”, she said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 9:16:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/child-friendly-zones-set-up-in-six-all-women-police-stations/article32968657.ece

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