NEW DELHI: To provide immediate protection and relief to women facing violence within families, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi has written to all Chief Ministers to ensure that the provisions of the domestic violence act, 2005 are effectively implemented in the states.
In the letters, that were dispatched on Thursday, the minister has particularly argued that a sufficient number of Protection Officers be appointed as per the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act. The details of these officers should also be made available in public domain so that they are accessible to any aggrieved woman, the letter says.
The act was originally constituted to protect women from domestic violence. It's a holistic civil act, which includes all forms of physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, and economic violence and threats to do the same.
Till 2015, over 10 lakh cases were filed under the sections "cruelty by husband and relatives" and "dowry-related deaths", but many provisions of the act are yet to be effectively followed by states.
"It has come to my notice that in most states, officers of other departments are given this responsibility as an additional charge. Considering the situation of how difficult it is for a woman to come out of her home to register a complaint, it is important that we appoint more POs", the minister wrote.
Gandhi has also requested that a separate budget is allocated for the smooth functioning of POs, providing support to survivors, capacity building for staff and for generating awareness. The minister has further mentioned that for the convenience of women, form IV of the Act, which enumerates the rights of the women, be translated into local languages.
"Every woman has the right to lead a life free of violence. I urge you to personally initiate action to prevent violence against women and ensure the protection of rights of women through the effective implementation of the Act," Gandhi added.
According to the National Family Health Survey-4, almost 30 per cent of married Indian women between the age of 15 and 49 reportedly experience spousal violence at least once. More than half of the married women in Manipur face the ferocity of partners, according to a survey by the Union ministry of health and family welfare. The condition of women was palpable in Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh too.