BHUBANESWAR: The state government is in the process of formulating a comprehensive standard operating procedure (SOP) to address increasing number of gender based violence cases in the State.
A high level inter-departmental meeting chaired by Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan discussed the draft SOP prepared by the Women and Child Development department.
The Development Commissioner directed the department to make the SOP more realistic and put in place a compliance tracking system both at the State and District levels. He further directed to take exemplary action against the defaulting officials in following SOP so as to have deterrent effect on others.
Provisions of no harassment to good Samaritans who come to the rescue of the victim be included in the SOP, he said.
Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Arati Ahuja told reporters after the meeting that various guidelines have been circulated at different points of time through various departments to deal with such cases. Shortcomings in the implementation of these guidelines and suggestions received from various forums how to improve the system were analysed.
Suggestions made in the meeting will be incorporated and a final draft will be submitted to the state government for approval, she added.
The role and activities of departments concerned and agencies like child welfare committees, protection officers, shelter homes, child care institutions and legal service providers have been integrated in the proposed draft SOP.
Issues relating to preparedness and response of the administration to gender based violence cases, role of government officials concerned, seamless linkages and referrals among various service providers, safety, privacy and dignity of the victim, support for initiating legal action, prosecution of accused persons, short term and long term rehabilitation support to the victim were also discussed.