Panchkula police on Wednesday unveiled its plan to operationalise a crisis text hotline number 98154-41091, starting 16 days of the UN’s ‘Orange the World’ campaign, on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The police said the aim of the hotline number was to enable women, particularly teenagers, to text troubles they face at home, school, neighbourhood, public space, workplaces or when in transit. The problem reported may be anything from bullying, teasing, suicidal thoughts, molestation, rape and domestic violence.
Commissioner of police OP Singh said the move will aid ease of reporting as texts are the most popular form of communication, particularly among teenagers.
It allows an outlet where there would be lower inhibitions, Singh said. He added that messages received would be attended by mahila police station counseling wing officials and volunteers.
The counseling wing will prioritise texts received on basis of severity of problems reported and coordinate a response with concerned agencies to help those in need.
The police will also conduct an online program for volunteers who post-training can part-time serve as online counselors to women and girls in distress.
Texts with live data with location and time coordinates will be analysed to map the problem, devise effective counter plans and prevent victimisation.
Singhdwar in Mansa Devi Complex was lit up in orange to convey a message of zero tolerance to violence against women and girls.
A ‘Voice against violence’ workshop for school and college principals would be organised on November 26 to encourage them to organise activities for staff and students to raise awareness levels to resist violence in all forms, by the police.
The police would insist for the formation of sexual harassment committees which would organise marches, marathons, flash mobs and musicals throughout the 16 days to create awareness about the issue.