Women Helpline Number 181 registers 213 cases in a month 

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Women Helpline Number 181 registers 213 cases in a month 

Saumya Mishra | May 09, 2018 11:24 hrs

•    181 helpline registers 213 cases in one month since its inception
•    Authorities informed that maximum cases are related to domestic violence and cyber crime
•    The helpline received a wonderful response from the women of the state 
•    During the initial few days, the helpline recorded around 15 to 20 cases a day
•    It has now come down to a steady 3 or 4 cases a day
•    Apart from domestic violence and cyber crime, the helpline gets complaints related to child marriage, human trafficking and sexual abuse

The 181 helpline for women has already registered 213 cases in the one month since its inception. 

Officials at the one stop centre (OSC) for women informed G Plus that they have received a wonderful response from the women of the city as well as the state, especially immediately after the inauguration of the helpline.     

“As soon as the helpline became operational, we started receiving a lot of calls every day. This would go up to even 20 calls per day made by women in distress. However, this has now declined to a steady three or four cases in a day,” informed Nilakshi Sarma, centre coordinator of the Kamrup (Metro) OSC.   

The helpline was launched on March 30 by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. It enables women to lodge complaints related to domestic violence, sexual harassment, eve-teasing, dowry cases and human trafficking among others.    

During the initial pilot period, the helpline will remain operational from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm, informed authorities. 

Further, while launching the helpline in March, the chief minister expressed serious concern over the rising instances of crimes against women in the state. He added that the government is taking measures to take strict action against the perpetrators of these crimes.     

This toll-free helpline is meant to provide assistance to women with counselling, shelter, filing of FIR and other legal aid, help with social welfare schemes and emergency services including rescue.      

The centre officials said that they are planning to recruit three more call responders keeping in mind the increased number of calls received by them. Currently the centre operates with a staff strength of 12. 

“Once the new recruitments are completed, the helpline would be able to function 24 hours. We are hoping to complete the recruitment process by the end of this month,” said an official. 

Additionally, the helpline has been integrated with the already existing Sakhi - one stop centre (OSC) for women. The OSC, which is a comprehensive care centre for women launched by the central ministry of women and child development, remains underutilised.

Launched in January 2017, ‘Sakhi - one stop centre’ provides integrated support and assistance to women who face any form of violence including physical, mental or sexual abuse.        

Under this centrally-sponsored scheme, female victims of abuse and violence can avail medical, legal and counselling services provided by the government. There are a total of five one stop centres in Assam located at Nagaon, Jorhat, Kokrajhar and Cachar apart from Kamrup (Metro).  

 It provides emergency and non-emergency services to survivors who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking among others.       
Helpline registers maximum cases against domestic violence, cyber crime    
Authorities informed that complaints against domestic violence and cyber crime make up for the maximum calls received by the helpline.   

“Apart from domestic violence cases, we receive cases related to cyber crime which consists of online harassment and abuse. Further, women from across the state have also called the 181 helpline to complain about child marriage and human trafficking,” informed Sarma. 

Last year in Guwahati, the police registered maximum number of cases against cruelty by husband and relatives with 590 such cases being filed in the city till October 2017. This was the highest among all categories of cases under violence against women.

According to the data provided by the Crime Branch, 2017 saw a slight increase in the number of cases of cruelty by husband and relatives as compared to 2016. A total of 507 cases were registered under this category in 2016.

Officials at the OSC informed that in almost all the domestic violence cases, extra marital affair was found to be the primary reason for discord.    

Sources said that at present, the one stop centre in Kamrup (Metro) remains underutilised as there is lack of awareness about the facility among the city’s women. They however hope that as the 181 helpline gains popularity, people will also become aware about the existence of the OSCs.  

As per the data made available by the officials, the Sakhi centre located in Kamrup (Metro) district has only handled 12 cases till now, a majority of which have been referral cases by different city-based NGOs.

“Many people still do not know about the centre and the services it offers for women in distress. There is a need to create large-scale awareness about the same,” said an official of the one stop centre.        

The OSC, which is located at Hatigaon, is also equipped with five beds which function as a temporary shelter for those in need of a place to stay for a few days.
“OSC and 181 helpline are two sides of the same coin. We need to integrate both in a systematic way,” said Sarma. 
 

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