Telangana

One year of SHE teams

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Cases are being registered under various sections of Indian Penal Code against persons caught harassing women. Only 37 women made direct complaints.

Move over, ‘100’! Women in distress are using social media and mobile apps to reach the cops, the SHE teams of Hyderabad Police have found in their one year of existence. Having conveyed their presence to the tech-savvy, the teams now want to reach out to women without access to technology.

Around 447 complaints were received through new-age tools as against 573 through the ubiquitous landline in the last one year. Only 37 women made direct complaints.

“Massive awareness campaigns about sexual harassment were held in the last one year. Our teams visited educational institutions, offices and public places and publicised the different mediums through which victims can reach us,” Additional Commissioner (Crimes) Swati Lakra said.

After observing that most victims were working women and girls, the police are now set to target uneducated women to spread awareness about sexual harassment. “We are making short films and also roping in folk artists for it. Help from NGOs will be sought for the campaign,” she said.

The teams, along with NGO partners, will visit construction sites, slum areas and factories to conduct awareness programmes. “We want to ensure that every woman, irrespective of their social status, feels safe,” the official said.

It was on October 24 last year that the city police formed SHE teams with an aim to check sexual harassment of women at public places. Till date, 281 persons were caught by the teams. Of them, 12 were booked under the Nirbhaya Act. The police teams visited several colleges, working women hostels, bus stops, railway stations and recreational places and held awareness campaigns.

Counselling sessions were conducted for those accused of eve-teasing. “A six-member counsellor’s team is on the job. They study the behaviour of the accused and counsel them. Parents of minors who are caught are also called for counselling,” Ms. Lakra said .

The highest number of complaints pertains to passing lewd comments and stalking, while in eight cases the accused harassed the women over the phone. In a few instances, stalkers followed the girls on bikes and cars. In these cases the police seized the vehicles too .

Cases are being registered under various sections of Indian Penal Code against persons caught harassing women. If a case is registered, it will have an impact on careers of students and working men. Moreover, we will also keep them under constant watch,” Swati Lakra Additional Commissioner (Crimes) .

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 10:52:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/one-year-of-she-teams/article7816518.ece

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