KARNATAKA

Help is at hand for victims of domestic violence

Staff Correspondent

Mobile counselling centres to tour villages in Chitradurga

This is an initiative by the Police Department and some NGOs Centres to have police officers, an advocate and nurses

Chitradurga: In an attempt to address the issue of domestic violence where usually women are the victims, the Department of Police has come out with the novel idea of introducing mobile counselling centres in the district.

Superintendent of Police K.L. Sudheer told The Hindu that several cases of dowry harassment and harassment by inebriated husbands go unnoticed in rural areas. Owing to social pressures, women suffered the trauma but rarely came forward to register their grievances. Many, unable to bear the ordeal, even resorted to suicide, he said.

The Police Department, with the help of other departments such as Social Welfare and some non-governmental organisations, had decided to set up the mobile centres.

Mr. Sudheer said in the initial stage the department would arrange a van in which a woman police official, an advocate, two female nurses, a representative from an NGO and one PSI or ASI would tour villages. The villages to be covered would be intimated of the visit a day in advance. A meeting would be held in the village, where women could register their complaints. Counselling would either be given on the spot, or the victims would be directed to NGOs .

The staff would also hold awareness programmes on legal rights and sanitation.

If a woman does not wish to register her complaint personally at the centre, she could call up the staff concerned and state her problem, Mr. Sudheer said. The van would cover three or four villages a week. Mr. Sudheer said the mobile centres were expected to start functioning in a week. He said this was a small but sincere effort to reduce harassment.