New Delhi, September 5, 2021: Atrocities against women in India have skyrocketed in the past decades. While victim blaming goes around, the victim no longer feels just a victim but an object of social bully, it was obligatory to establish certain help groups or assistance centres on the national scale, directly under the supervision of the authorities that run the nation. Nirbhaya Fund was established for women’s safety. One-Stop Crisis Centres were recommended to be established by the 12th Plan Working Group on Women’s Agency and Empowerment.The One Stop Centre Scheme will support all women.
Why the One-Stop Centre scheme came into being
2013 witnessed Usha Mehra Commission submitted a report stating the need for a One Stop Centre at a notified hospital to help a victim of sexual assault. Finally in 2015, the One-Stop Centre scheme was implemented.
One Stop Centres have been established across the country in a phased manner:
Phase I – 1 One Stop Centre per state/UT
Phase II – 150 additional One Stop Centres in 2016-17
As of July 2019 data, 462 one-stop centers have been set up; the highest number of one-stop center – Uttar Pradesh (75), followed by Madhya Pradesh – 51. A fund of Rs.74 crores has also been announced by the government under the Nirbhaya fund for rape victims who are minors
One Stop Centre Scheme empowering women across the nation
1. The One Stop Centre Scheme will support all women including girls below 18 years of age affected by violence, irrespective of caste, class, religion, region, sexual orientation or marital status. For girls below 18 years of age, institutions, and authorities established under the 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. It blurs the boundaries of patriarchy by extending strength and shoulder to all the victimised and abused women, who were otherwise cornered by the public.
2. There was a toppling need to address such violence and help women in distress, and hence the centrally sponsored scheme by the government for setting up a One Stop Centre has been helpful.
3. One Stop Centre scheme is a sub-scheme of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women which also includes the Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahayog Yojana. The scheme is funded by the Nirbhaya fund. Under this scheme, complete financial assistance will be provided by the Centre to the States and the Union territories.
4. The audit will be done as per Comptroller & Auditor General of India norms and a social audit will also be undertaken by civil society groups, regarding this scheme.
One Stop Scheme (OSC) aims to support women affected by the violence that they may face within the family or at the workplace or within the community, in private or public places.
A support mechanism and redressal for women are some of the facilities of this scheme for women who face sexual/physical/psychological/emotional/economic abuse, irrespective of their caste, creed, race, class, education status, age, culture, or marital status.
The provision of specialized services will be made accessible to the aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted acid attacks, witch-hunting, domestic violence, trafficking, sexual assault or sexual harassment and have reached out or been referred to the OSC.
Administration of the Scheme at national and state levels:
On the national level, Ministry of Women and Child Development would be responsible for budgetary regulation and administration and at the State level, the Department of Women and Child Development will be responsible for the overall direction and implementation of the scheme
Services provided by One Stop Centre
The following services are provided under Sakhi of the scheme:
6.Video conferencing facility
Furthermore these centres will be integrated with a women helpline to facilitate access to the following services:
1.Emergency response and rescue services.
2. Medical assistance.
3. Assistance to women in lodging the FIR.
4. Psycho-social support and counselling
5. Legal aid and counselling
7.Video conferencing facility.
The government’s initiative towards trafficking of Women and Children will be integrated with these One Stop Centres and will provide access to these services which include: Emergency Response and Rescue Services which will be provided in linkage with already existing mechanisms like 108 service, police, National Health Mission (NHM), etc. so that the women aggrieved can be rescued and transferred to the nearest medical facility.
Medical assistance shall be provided as per the protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
– Assistance in lodging First Information Report (FIR)/non-cognizable Report (NCR).
– Counselling and Psychosocial support to give women, confidence and support to seek justice for the violence caused. Additionally, legal aid will also be provided.
– Video conferencing facility shall be provided to the aggrieved woman in consultation with the Superintendent of Police, district and sessions judge to record her statement using audio-video electronic means.