Women’s Police Station SHO doubles up as counsellor, quite an effective one

Women’s Police Station SHO doubles up as counsellor, quite an effective one

Of the 822 complaints of domestic violence in past 2 yrs, all except 58 withdrawn after ‘counselling’

Humera Ashiq

Srinagar: Almost 93 percent of the domestic violence cases filed by Kashmiri women at the Valley’s sole women’s police station at Rambagh in the past 2 years were withdrawn after the distressed women were provided counselling by the police.
According to official records, in the past two years 822 complaints were filed at the Women’s Police Station, of which only 58 were lodged by the police as a criminal case while the rest were withdrawn. In 2016, 188 complaints of domestic violence were received, and in 2017 the figure stood at 634.
Station House Officer Khalida Parveen told Kashmir Reader that the complaints were withdrawn because the women were counselled by the police. Most of the cases pertained to dowry and domestic violence, she said.
“We leave no stone unturned to resolve their issues. It helps the victims and they decide not to lodge an FIR against the accused, who are mainly their in-laws or husbands,” Khalida said.
She said a criminal case is filed only in extreme situations when the victim is not convinced to amicably resolve issues.
“We try our best that issues are settled between the parties. Like, if the husband is abusive to his wife, we try to counsel him. We make it sure that he doesn’t repeat the same. Being a woman I understand the plight of other women,” Khailda said.
While she was speaking, Khalida received a call from a woman apparently in distress. The SHO consoled her, insisting that she not cry. “I told you not to lose hope,” she told the caller. “We are with you in all your trials. Do not cry and do not be scared.”
Despite the spike in the number of complaints this year, the women’s police station lacks a professional counsellor. It is the SHO herself who counsels the complainants. This, Khalida admits, is a problem, but she says, “We try to do our best using our own counselling skills.”
Director of Social Welfare Department, Hashmat Ali, said it was not their job to provide counsellors to the police station.