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Protection Officers in addressing Domestic Violence

Topics Covered: Issues related to women.

Protection Officers in addressing Domestic Violence:


Context:

The National Commission for Women (NCW) in collaboration with Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) has launched a Training Programme of Protection Officers in addressing Domestic Violence.

 

Aim:

The training aims to focus on the role of different stakeholders/service providers under the Act including police, legal aid services, health system, service providers, shelter services, one stop centres etc.

 

Who are protection Officers?

Under the Domestic Violence Act, protection officers are appointed. They act as a facilitator between the aggrieved woman and the court.

Functions: The Protection Officer aids the aggrieved woman in filing of complaints, and application before the Magistrate to obtain the necessary relief and also assists to obtain medical aid, legal aid, counselling, safe shelter and other required assistance.

 

Eligibility:

  • According to the rules prescribed under the Act, state governments must appoint at least one protection officer in the jurisdiction of every judicial magistrate.
  • Protection officers can be members of either government or non-governmental organisations, with at least three years of experience in the social sector, but they must preferably be women.

 

Challenges/problems with the functioning of Protection Officers:

The Domestic Violence Act may have been introduced 12 years ago, but the implementation of its provisions was not taken up uniformly across the country.

  1. In many states, protection officers were not appointed even years after the Act came into force.
  2. Today, everything from their qualifications to the nature of their appointments can differ from state to state.
  3. The number of POs [protection officers] also depends from state to state. Some have very few POs while other states have too many people given that responsibility.
  4. Under the Domestic Violence Act, protection officers are meant to be full-time workers, but Delhi is not the only state where this rule is flouted.
  5. In many states, existing government officials are burdened with the additional charge of being protection officers.
  6. Most people are not even aware of the existence of protection officers.
  7. Some protection officers are themselves not clear about the procedures under the law.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was the first human rights treaty specific to women ? CEDAW, however, doesn’t address violence. Read Here 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Domestic Violence Act.
  2. Key Provisions.
  3. Who are protection Officers?
  4. Rights of Women Under the Act.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Domestic Violence Act.

Sources: PIB.