Riya Dixit, The Hush Post, Delhi : One in four women has suffered domestic violence. The crimes against women have doubled in the past 10 years, according to the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Another fact is that 70 per cent of women have experienced physical violence in their lifetime, as per the UN report. Domestic violence is a serious matter and should be immediately reported to the police. Here is an exclusive interview with Pooja Dabla, ACP Faridabad pertaining to domestic violence and the underlying factors which lead to domestic violence and can minimize if there are pre-marriage counselling sessions.
Q.Being a women police officer, what all challenges you face?
A.Being a women police officer, I would like to say a woman faces problems of multifarious kinds like family constraints, but if the family is supportive the problems can be sorted out.
Q.Being a police officer you need to stay back late in the night. Have you ever faced difficulties and had to call someone for your help?
A.No, personally speaking I haven’t faced any such issues because I live with my family and my in-laws.
Q.Nowadays we see a lot of domestic violence, what exactly is domestic violence according to you and what are its causes?
A.From the day I have joined, I think the meaning of domestic violence has changed. It is not the same as before. Now, the cases I am handling are more about misunderstandings between the husband and wife. The reason is a lack of compatibility which results in domestic violence. In fact, such is our success in Faridabad that no case has come to us twice.
Q. What type of cases are reported to you generally?
A.On an average we receive 15-20 cases per month. Cases are mostly related to misunderstandings between wife and the husband and some family problems which take the shape of domestic violence.
Q.After filing the complaint, how do you address the victims?
A.We have counselling cells in the police station and these cases get sorted out there. They agree not to repeat the same and if the situations do not get better, we have protection officers, who are especially looking after the domestic cases, so we send these cases to them. Or else if we find anything related to the dowry, we register it under 498-A. If the cases don’t get settled at the police level, we have the family courts in each district so we refer the cases further to them.
Q.Do you think most of the women do not complain about domestic violence they are a victim of?
A.Yes there are many who do not complain. But after the setting up of women police stations we have seen a lot of change. Now, women are coming forward.
Q.Is it fair to say that even the working and independent women also face the problem of domestic violence?
A.Yes, we get those cases as well. Domestic violence is not only seen with housewives but with the working women as well.
Q.Do you think social media is playing a crucial role in women empowerment?
A.Yes, it plays very important role. It makes the people aware about their surroundings and there are many crimes which social media highlights and obviously it has contributed a lot to women empowerment.
Q.What according to you women can do to keep them safe and how these cases can be reduced?
A.There should be a pre-marriage counselling sessions between the bride and the groom. Automatically, the cases will get reduced if both the persons have good understanding and they know the challenges of marriage in advance. To keep themselves safe, they must know about the helplines so that they can seek help anytime and anywhere, for example, calling at 1091 or 100. Also Faridabad police have launched an app names “FIR” (first immediate response) this app can also be used to seek help.
Q.Do you want to send any messages to all the women who are a victim of domestic violence?
A.Please be aware of all the helplines and seek help through them, when in need. Also, if you are facing any problem do not get suppressed. Report it to the police. Have an open conversation with us regarding it. You will be helped out for sure. Domestic violence does not only mean hurting a woman physically but to dishonour a woman in anyway.