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News : Most Calls to Helpline from Victims of Domestic Violence
Kerala, India, March 8, 2016 -- Women in Kochi city and rural areas are affected most by issues of domestic violence, going by calls to the police helpline (1091) in Ernakulam.
While the women’s cell in the city gets on an average 300 calls, the rural women’s cell of the police gets about 125 to 150 calls a month.
The Vanitha Cell, Ernakulam (Rural), also gets an equivalent numbers of direct petitions from women every month, says T.K. Radhamani, circle inspector, Ernakulam (Rural) Vanitha Cell.
The city cell circle inspector Shalet Mani says the helpline, after receiving distress calls, goes to help the women in distress.
Usually the calls come in at night. Hence, the nearest police station would be alerted to reach help.
The helpline is promoted largely through the services of Kudumbasree volunteers and Nirbhaya volunteers, and posters in buses, bus stands, railway stations and other public spaces.
"We have had calls from women to help them with their ration cards too," says Ms. Mani.
Many a time the police have been able to reach out to the woman in distress, reaching the place on time, to take the victim of domestic violence to the hospital, says Ms. Radhamani.
Family issues also figure in the direct petitions and the calls received at the helpline, and these are addressed by counsellors twice a week. Except a few, most of the petitioners and the respondents attend the counselling sessions.
Though the Nirbhaya pilot project launched in Kochi started out with much vigour, only half of the 110 volunteers recruited are active. Some of the groups are really spirited and a big help to the police, says Ms. Mani. The groups know almost all the people residing in the region and it helps the police zero in on a problem, she adds.
Honorarium to Nirbhaya volunteers is an issue that remains to be sorted out. The ambiguity over the issue has put on hold the recruitment of more volunteers.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2016