In a first of its kind initiative, the MP State Women’s Commission has decided to come out with advertisements in print and electronic media, highlighting the laws related to prevention of violence against women and with the basic theme ‘know your legal limits’.
The advertisements are expected to start appearing in the media in another month.
The objective behind the ad campaign is not only to raise awareness about the legal recourses that women could fall back on if they face violence but also to send out a veiled warning to the possible perpetrators not to indulge in activities that might land them in legal trouble and ruin their lives.
The commission also feels that as the possible male perpetrators are also sons, brothers or husbands and if they land in trouble, another set of women suffer.
“Thus we hope that even women themselves, especially the mothers would create atmosphere around the males in their houses that would prevent any untoward behaviour on their part,” chairperson of the women’s commission Upma Rai said while talking to HT.
She said that while major crimes like rape, murder are a different issue, there are stringent laws even related to other categories of violence against women including harassment, domestic violence of any nature, stalking, cyber harassment and others.
If there is widespread awareness The Women’s Commission would also be formally writing to media houses to refrain from publicising misogynist statements by political leaders or other personalities.
The chairperson said that publicity of such statements hurt the image and interest of women more than anything else.
If such statements are not given any importance and not publicised, those in habit of issuing such statements for sake of publicity would be discouraged.
On these laws, there would be possibly better prevention.
“This is why we are trying to highlight the legal limits that shouldn’t be crossed in context of violence against women,” the commission chairperson said
The commission has also decided to ask the department of women and child development to start ‘ rehabilitation courses’ for those persons who need psychological or medical help to give up such habits that might lead them to indulge in violence against women.
Upma Rai said that legal action is fine but in certain cases the perpetrators need professional help to deal with certain behavioural pattern leading them to indulge in unlawful behaviour.
For example, those indulging in domestic violence under influence of alcohol or teasing/harassing women without getting involved in serious crime might be reformed with professional help.
“If they are put through a well- designed rehabilitation course, it might help in preventing minor offences getting converted into major violent crimes in future,” Rai said. She however added that there should of course be legal action if any legal limit is breached.