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SOP on gender based violence awaits Govt nod

Bhubaneswar, Sep 3: In another proactive step towards addressing the problem of gender based violence in the State, a draft standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with such cases was approved on Saturday and sent to the State Government for final concurrence.

A high level inter-departmental meeting to this effect was held under the chairmanship of Development Commissioner (DC) and Chief Secretary (In charge) R Balakrishnan at the Secretariat conference wherein health and Family Welfare Department Principal Secretary Arti Ahuja outlined various dimensions for discussion.

Considering the draft SOP, the DC directed the department to make the SOP more realistic and put in place a compliance tracking system both at the State and district levels.

“Various guidelines have been circulated at various points of time through several departments to deal with the cases arising out of gender based violence. The gaps in implementation of these guidelines have been analyzed. Many suggestions have also been received from various forums. A trial is being made to formulate a comprehensive SOP on the basis of these inputs in order to have a more effective system in place,” said Ahuja after the meeting.

She said her department has formulated an integrated draft SOP which was discussed in the meeting. Suggestions received in the meeting would be incorporated in it and the final draft would be submitted to Government for approval.

The role and activities of seven departments and agencies like health and family welfare, police, child welfare committees, protection officers, shelter homes, child care institutions and legal service providers have been integrated in the proposed draft SOP.

The issues relating to preparedness and response of the administration to gender based violence cases, medical examination and treatment of the victim, collection of the evidences, seamless linkages and referrals among various service providers, safety of the victim, privacy and dignity of the victim, role of police, protection officers, CWCs, shelter homes and child care institutions, support for initiating legal action, prosecution of the accused, short term and long term rehabilitation support to the victim etc were thoroughly deliberated in the meeting.

The DC advised that the provisions of no harassments to the good  samaritans who comes to the rescue of the victim be included in the SOP.

Law Secretary Bibhu Prasad Routroy, School and Mass Education Secretary Ranjana Chopra, Women and Child Development Secretary Vishal Dev, Home Department Special Secretary Home Lalit Kumar Das along with senior officers from concerned departments attend the meeting. 

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