On International Women's Day, that is Tuesday, the Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry will open four 'one-stop crisis' centres to provide assistance to women in distress. These centres will be started in Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, even as foundation stones will be laid for similar centres in Nagaland and Assam.
“The one-stop centres for providing safety to women affected by violence will be significantly expanded this year,“ WCD minister Maneka Gandhi said as per a report by The Times of India.
The first such centre in India was setup in Raipur, Chattisgarh at a cost of Rs 37.67 lakhs in July 2015, as per a report by NDTV. Across the country, there are already eight such centres which are already functional.
Such centres, which provide counselling as well as legal and medical assistance to women, are set up as per the Justice J S Verma committee guidelines. A sum of Rs 18.58 crore has been earmarked for it from the Nirbhaya Fund.
Here is all you need to know about them:
What are One-Stop Centres (OSC) ?
One-Stop Centres (OSC) are intended to support women affected by physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse. Aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honour related crimes, acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC are provided with specialised services.
Who all can approach OSC?
The OSCs support all women including girls below 18 years of age affected by violence, irrespective of caste, class, religion, region, sexual orientation or marital status.
What services does it provide?
- Emergency response and rescue services with linkage with existing mechanisms like National Health Mission, nearest police station and 108 emergency service
- Medical assistance with referral to the nearest hospital/medical institution for medical aid/examination during a crisis
- Assistance in lodging FIR/NCR/DIR
- Psycho-social support/counselling with a prescribed code of ethics and guidelines to instill confidence among the aggrieved
- Legal aid by empanelled Lawyers or National/State/District Legal Service Authority who would also help in the simplification of legal procedures and would seek for exemption from court hearings
- Temporary long term shelter facilities
- Video conferencing facility for speedy and hassle free court proceedings
(Feature image is representational / source: PTI)