KOCHI: While money may not offer solace to a sexual abuse survivor, the Kerala government’s victim compensation scheme has gone a long way in providing financial support to survivors of rape, acid attack, murder and Pocso cases. Over the past five years, the government has given Rs 6.3 crore as compensation to Pocso case victims in the state. Government data shows, aside of Pocso cases, Rs 20 lakh was disbursed in acid attack cases and Rs 90 lakh in rape cases. Experts say that the timely disbursement of compensation to victims is always welcome, but it also reveals a grim picture of rising crimes against women and children in the state.
“No amount of money can compensate the trauma and mental agony a rape or Pocso case survivor undergoes. Monetary compensation is good but we also need a proper system to provide emotional support to them for a long period of time,” said Indian Criminology and Forensic Science Association president Febin Baby, who added the compensation is to support the expenditure incurred for medical treatment and counselling. Data reveals a total of Rs 12 crore was disbursed as victim compensation fund between 2016-17 and 2020-21.
While the total disbursement in 2016-17 was Rs 1.87 crore, the figure rose to Rs 5.29 crore in 2020-21.
“It’s a fact that the numbers of such cases are increasing in the state and the government had expedited the process of releasing the compensation fund in each case,” said an officer with the department of women and child development.
The fund is approved to a survivor based on a brief report from the women protection officer/district child protection officer of the district concerned after collecting documents like FIR, bank pass book copy, Aadhaar copy, medical report, legal report and police report.