A week after opening a special unit to investigate serious and intricate cases of violence against women in the city, the Mumbai police crime branch has decided to open six additional counselling centres across the city.
At present, the crime branch, under the aegis of the Social Service Branch (SSB), has been running three counseling centres at Chembur, Santacruz and one at the police commissioner’s compound at Crawford Market, respectively.
Additional commissioner of police, crime, Niket Kaushik said that the new counseling centres would be set up at D B Marg, Dharavi, Wadala TT, Sakinaka, Bhandup and Malwani, respectively. “We have already started searching for places for the centres at these locations,” Kaushik said adding that the centres would run with active help from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), few NGOs working in the field of child and women’s welfare and the Women and Child Welfare Department.
Kaushik said the places for the counseling centres were chosen on the basis of the area’s (police region’s) history of violence/atrocity against women and also geographical stretch. Accordingly, areas like eastern suburbs from where maximum of such cases have been reported (See Box) have been allotted two such centres—at Chembur and Bhandup. Similarly, in the western suburbs, there will
be two centres, at Sakinaka
and Santacruz respectively. Explaining the functioning of the counseling centres, Kaushik said they will be dealing with cases which are mostly of non-cognisable nature. “People facing marital discord, harassment or unjust treatment, or even women or children suffering from depression or suicidal tendencies, would be counseled or given legal guidance. They would also be counseled about their legal rights,” he said. Even post-trauma counseling would be rendered to rape/molestation victims as well as women having suffered domestic violence. However, for instances of cognizable nature, the cases would be forwarded to police stations for registration of offences, he added.