Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Ms. Asiea Naqash while intervening during the Zero Hour assured the members that shelter homes would be created in both the divisions of the State by the Social Welfare Department for the victims of domestic violence.
“The victims of domestic violence can stay in these shelter homes, if their in-laws/parents don’t accept them for not succumbing to their pressure. At these homes, besides protection, these victims can be provided medical and legal assistance so that the perpetrators of violence are brought to justice,” the Minister said.
She said in order to provide timely police assistance to those facing threat of domestic violence, the government intends to open women police stations in all the districts of the state.
She said Government is also establishing a Women helpline 181 in the State. The helpline is intended to provide 24 hours immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence through referral (linking with appropriate authority such as police, one stop centre, hospital) through a single uniform number. This number would be compatible with all the existing telecommunication channels.
Objective of the Helpline is to provide toll-free 24 hours telecom service to women affected by violence seeking support.
The Minister further added that one stop centre would be set up which would serve as the referral point for the victims as it would be connected by a helpline which would be inter-connected with police and health centres.
The Minister was responding to a point raised by legislator, Ms Anjum Fazili in this regard.
Expressing concern over the increasing incidents of domestic violence, Ms Fazili in SMHS Hospital Srinagar alone, 18 female burn patients are admitted, apparently most of them victims of domestic violence.
She said the victims of domestic violence prima-facie often change their statements by succumbing to pressure from their in-laws or even parents, primarily due to the reason that they will have nobody to look after and nowhere to go if they take a stand against those who have committed violence against them.
“These suffering women need help and protection from the government,” she said.