NEW DELHI: In a measure to combat rising crime against women, the Women and Child Development Ministry has decided to launch district-level welfare committees across the country to establish a mechanism of immediate assistance for the victims of domestic violence.
The 'Women Welfare Committees' will act as a designate authority to help women who face assault or cruelty by their family members, a senior ministry official said. Crime against women is on a consistent rise for past three years, he added. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, a total number of 1,06,527, 1,18,866 and 1,22,877 cases were registered under Section 498A of IPC (cruelty by husband or his relatives) in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
"Like for children in distress there is a good mechanism at the district level in the form of Child Welfare Committee under Juvenile Justice Act. For women also we are planning to bring such a mechanism," the official said. "If a woman is in a state of distress, like she has been assaulted or thrown out of home, there is no designated agency where she can go and get help," he said.
A similar kind of scheme for victims of rape and violence was launched by the ministry recently for facilitating and providing medical aid, police assistance, legal counseling and temporary shelter. The scheme envisaged establishment of one such centre in each state and union territory in first phase. "One-Stop Centers will also be linked with the committees. But since these centers will be only one in each state and UT, they will invariably in the state capital. Not all women can reach there. The district-level Women Welfare Committees will be more accessible and approachable to women," the official said.
He said that, in first phase, districts with higher rate of crime against women will be chosen for the committees. "We have extensive data to suggest which districts need such committees urgently. However, the target is to open them in each district eventually," he added.