Women helpdesk counselors encouraging women to report their grievances
The counsellors help the women file an FIR in the police stations after discussing their grievances.
Bengaluru: The women helpdesk counsellors stationed in Bangalore police stations encourage women to come forward and file complaints about the harassment they face on a daily basis.
The women’s helpdesk was set up on February 26, 2021 by the Bangalore city police as an initiative to encourage women to come forward and report the harassment and other crimes that takes place against them.
Initially women were skeptical to talk to the police officers because they were uncomfortable disclosing their personal details to them as they felt the officers lacked sensitivity.
Raima Bhaumik, 22, a student at Christ University said, “When I tried to complain about my stalker, police asked why I was traveling alone, that made me feel judged. Now that there is a woman helpdesk, it will be easier for me to report my issues.”
The police officials said that after setting up the women helpdesk, the police stations were receiving 10 to 12 FIRs per day that were filed by women which was more than the 2 to 3 FIRs that they used to receive previously.
Ashika Ashokan, a woman helpdesk counsellor working in Sadashivnagar police station, said, “ So far, I handled 50 cases on domestic violence, dowry, kidnap, etc. However, some stations also see more than 200 cases a month.”
The helpdesk counsellors, who are all women, receive training from NIMHANS in providing psychological help to the distressed women.
A report by the National Commission for women mentioned that crime against women has increased by 46% compared to last year.
Officials believe that the women’s helpdesk will help them report more crimes that are taking place against women.
NGO’s say, now that women helpdesk counsellors are present in the police stations, more will find it easier to file complaints about the grievances they face.
Mrs Namratha M, assistant professor of psychology in Acharya Institute of Graduate Studies said, “When there is a counselor present in the police station, they will have a mindset to listen to the problem and empathize with them regarding that so that would help them understand what is happening in their situation better.”
Hence, setting up women helpdesk counsellors in the police stations of Bangalore is a step that has been lauded by many women as they feel it will make it easy for them to report their grievances.