NGOs to launch awareness campaign on Domestic Violence Act

July 16th, 2008 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) To create better understanding among women about the law against domestic violence, two organisations based here will kick off an awareness campaign on the act in five states in India. Realising that a surprisingly low number of cases were being registered under this act in states, the Centre for Social Research and Women Power Connect, two Delhi-based organisations working on women’s issues, will launch August 6 a major awareness drive in Bihar’s capital Patna.

The drive will see discussions with bureaucrats, law enforcement agencies, elected representatives at the state and local self-governance levels, civil society organisations, community members and journalists.

There will also be capacity building programmes of service providers through trainers’ workshops.

The campaign, after being initiated in Bihar, will be moved to Shillong, Chennai, Mumbai and finally to Delhi.

Ranjana Kumari of the Centre for Social Research said that lack of knowledge about it was one of the main reasons why the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005, has not been properly implemented.

“The delay in the implementation of the PWDVA is in large part reflective of lack of awareness among the stakeholders like the protection officers, service providers, police and community members. It is imperative to discuss and simplify certain clauses of the act in terms of the language to aid understanding,” Kumari said.

According to the first monitoring and evaluation report 2007 on the PWDVA by Delhi-based lawyers collective Women’s Rights Initiative, a total of 7,913 cases have been filed under the PWDVA 2005.

The highest number of cases has been reported in Rajasthan (3,440) followed by Kerala 1,028 cases.

While 150 cases have been registered in Uttar Pradesh, less than 50 cases have been registered in 10 states - Assam, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Orissa, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and West Bengal.

No case till now has been registered in four states - Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.

“One of the reasons for this wide variation could be attributed to the level of awareness on this law in each state. There appears to be divergent ways in which the act is being implemented across the states. This is partly related to the kind of infrastructure put in place as well as the manner in which the act is being interpreted,” Ranjana Kumari said.

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