Indian Police Trained on Violence against Women
Monday, May 7, 2007 10:47 AM

Through a partnership between UNICEF and the Karnataka State Police, every police station in Bangalore, India now has at least one officer trained on handling cases of violence against women and children. The project directors developed a training module focused on violence against women and children with input from women’s and children’s organizations and police.  Over 2,800 officers have been trained since the project began in 2001 and the state police are now planning to include the topic in the curriculum for new recruits in the State's six police training schools.  The state police intend to have trained the entire force within the next five years.

In developing the training a study was conducted in ten police stations which found that “very few cases related to women and children were actually registered; `counselling' was often seen as a substitute for registration; the prevalent attitude of most officers was to minimise the incidence of violence and to deny the right of the complainant to seek justice; while many police personnel were more sympathetic towards children's issues, their responses to women were traditional and patriarchal; violence against women and children was not seen as part of the `mainstream' activities of the local police station, but were often referred to the women's police station; the limited powers of the women police stations as well as the abdication of responsibility by the system overall led to further injustice to complainants.”

Women’s groups are participating in the program but are vocal about the limitations. Donna Fernandes of the women's group Vimochana, said, "It is disturbing to see that many of the police personnel do not regard domestic violence as a crime. Though many of them say they benefited from the workshops, there is still a tendency to avoid registering a complaint or to register all complaints as dowry-related ones."

Compiled from: Alladi Jayasri Gender Sensitisation Becomes a Part of Police Training, The Hindu, May 2, 2007.