The government of India, on February 21, announced its plans to set up specialized one stop crisis centers for women for offering all necessary services for women subjected to violence.
Women in distress in India often face more harassment in the process of seeking help. As a result many don’t even come forward to report violence against them. The idea behind one-stop crisis center is that women don’t have to directly deal with tens of different agencies, individuals, or institutions. They go to one place, one set of people who are specially trained to handle women issues.
The move follows a series of steps that government has already announced to curb violence against women or to help women in distress. Dedicated women helpline numbers are already active in cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai. Recently, Bangalore announced its plans to have women only police squads patrol vulnerable areas. However, these are just some preliminary and experimental steps. India has a long way to go in improving the state of women in the county. If implemented effectively, these one stop crisis centers could form a strong foundation to women help and care system in India.
As a starting point, Indian National Mission for Empowerment of Women will start such one stop crisis centers in public hospitals in 100 districts.
This is not the first time government of India has announced such a scheme. Back in September 2009, government had issued directives to various states and union territories to set up Rape Crisis Centers and Specialized Sexual Assault Treatment Units. But three years into the announcement, you only get yet another announcement. With parliament elections approaching fast, one can only hope that there will be some seriousness to these announcements.