In a significant move aimed at addressing the issue of violence against women in Jammu and Kashmir, a network of 20 One-Stop Centres (OSCs) has been established across the region, benefitting more than 7000 women thus far.
Approved by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, a total of 816 OSCs have been sanctioned across all 36 states and union territories, with 757 OSCs currently operational. These OSCs, strategically located in Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Doda, Ganderbal, Jammu, Kathua, Kishtwar, Kulgam, Kupwara, Poonch, Pulwama, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Samba, Shopian, Srinagar, and Udhampur, offer integrated services under one roof, including medical aid, legal assistance, temporary shelter, Police support, and psychosocial counselling.
The primary objective of these OSCs is to provide comprehensive support to women affected by violence in both private and public spaces, including within families, communities, and workplaces.Specialised services are provided to women facing various forms of violence, including attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honour-related crimes, acid attacks, or witch-hunting.
Speaking about the significance of OSCs, Harvinder Kaur, Director of Mission Vatsalya, emphasized their pivotal role in providing counselling and resolving issues faced by women in Kashmir. “These centres serve as sanctuaries for women in need, focusing on resolving issues ranging from domestic violence to health concerns and legal matters,” Kaur stated. She highlighted that OSCs address a diverse range of complaints, offering counselling and dedicated support to empower women and provide them with the necessary assistance to navigate through challenging circumstances.
Amidst a concerning rise in crimes against women in J&K, with over 11,000 cases registered between 2020 and 2022, OSCs offer more than just immediate aid. They provide psychological counselling to help women heal and rebuild their lives, legal assistance to seek justice, and medical care to ensure their physical well-being.