One Stop Centre (OSC) for women

  • One Stop Centres (OSCs) are intended will support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace.
  • Women facing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse, irrespective of age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race and culture will be facilitated with support and redressal.
  • Aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honour related crimes, acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC will be provided with specialized services.
  • Under this Scheme, in the first phase, one OSC envisaged to be established in each State/UT.
  • Further, 150 additional Centres are taken up in second phase during 2016-17 in addition to 36 Centres in the first phase.
  • Now, 50 additional One Stop Centres each shall be established during the years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-2020.
  • The OSCs will be integrated with 181(universal women helpline) and other existing helplines. Women affected by violence and in need of redressal services could be referred to OSC through these helplines.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) will provide support to the State Governments/UT Administrations for the establishment of OSC.
Target
  • The OSC will support all women including girls below 18 years of age affected by violence.
  • Women will be helped irrespective of caste, class, religion, region, sexual orientation or marital status.
  • For girls below 18 years of age, institutions and authorities established under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 will be linked with the OSC.

Services to be provided at the OSC.

Deatils.

1.      Emergency Response and Rescue Services ·         OSC will provide rescue and referral services to the women affected by violence. ·         For this, linkages will be developed with existing mechanisms such as National Health Mission (NHM), 108 service, police (PCR Van) so that the woman affected by violence can either be rescued from the location and referred to the nearest medical facility (Public/ Private) or shelter home.
2.      Medical assistance ·         Women affected by violence would be referred to the nearest Hospital for medical aid/examination which would be undertaken as per the guidelines and protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
3.      Assistance to women in lodging FIR/ NCR/DIR ·         The OSC will facilitate the lodging of FIR/NCR/DIR
4.      Psycho-social support/ counselling ·         A skilled counsellor providing psycho-social counselling services would be available on call. ·         This counselling process will give women confidence and support to address violence or to seek justice for the violence perpetuated. ·         Counsellors shall follow a prescribed code of ethics, guidelines and protocols in providing counselling services.
5.      Legal aid and counselling ·         To facilitate access to justice for women affected by violence, legal aid and counselling would be provided at OSC through empanelled Lawyers or National/State/District Legal Service Authority. ·         The aggrieved woman would be provided with an advocate of her choice in case she wants to engage the same to assist the State Prosecutors in trying her case. ·         It would be the responsibility of the Lawyer/Prosecutor to simplify legal procedures for the aggrieved woman and advocate for her exemption from court hearings. ·         In case the trial or inquiry relates to an offence of rape as defined under section 376, 376A-D IPC, it would be the duty of the Prosecutors trying the case to complete the inquiry or trial as far as possible within a period of two months from the date of filing of charge sheet.
6.      Shelter ·         The OSC will provide temporary shelter facility to aggrieved women. ·         For long term shelter requirements, arrangements will be made with Swadhar Greh/Short Stay Homes (managed/affiliated with government/NGO). ·         Women affected by violence along with their children (girls of all ages and boys up till 8 years of age) can avail temporary shelter at the OSC for a maximum period of 5 days. ·         The admissibility of any woman to the temporary shelter would be at the discretion of Centre Administrator.
7.      Video Conferencing Facility ·         To facilitate speedy and hassle free police and court proceedings the OSC will provide video conferencing facility (through Skype, Google Conferencing etc.). ·         Through this facility if the aggrieved woman wants, she can record her statement for police/ courts from OSC itself using audio-video electronic means.This facility will be provided only after consultation among Superintendent of Police, District and Sessions Judge of the concerned district (place of incident).

About the author: Aman Kumar

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