- In order to provide restorative justice and rehabilitation to women victims of rape and sexual assault, the govt has announced establishment of Nirbhaya Centres or One-Stop Crisis Centres (OSCC) in all districts.
- The centre will have paramedical staff, ambulance service, a retired police officer to help lodge the FIR, counsellors, lawyers, short-stay shelter with food and clothing, and video conferencing facility.
- Several States have however pointed out the limitations of such a ‘static’ centre as in cases of assault and sexual abuse the govt should be the one reaching out to the victim and not the other way around. The victim is also not likely to travel to the district if she is based in a village.
- Instead local thana staff and district hospital staff such as District Trauma Team are being trained who will reach the victim when an incident is reported. Travel assistance could be provided to victims located in remote parts of the district.
- The schemes does not take into account children’s needs despite 70% of cases of sexual assault being concerned with children.
- Even the Protection Officers appointed in each district under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 are non -functional in several States.
- Recently the govt also inaugurated “Gauravi” as an OSCC for gender-based violence in a government hospital in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, which is being run with support from NGO Action Aid.
- It has has received 1,379 calls, and registered 323 cases of violence with the police in five weeks.
- The MP government is now planning to replicate the centres to all district centres in M.P.