Lahore: The Punjab Commission on the Status of Women welcomed the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Bill 2015, recently tabled in the Punjab Assembly. In a statement issued on Monday, Chairperson of the Commission stated “the Bill provides for an effective protection system for women survivors of domestic abuse; emotional, psychological and verbal abuse; economic abuse; stalking; and cyber crime. It also provides for rescue of women who have been wrongfully confined and file a case of habeas corpus for such women”.
Under the proposed law, Violence against Women Centres (VAWC) and shelters will be established in all districts under a phased programme. Women will also get protection through residence orders, protection orders and monetary orders that ensure the victim will not only be protected, she will also obtain monetary compensation for losses suffered.
“The protection system in the bill is one of its kind and a major improvement over similar institutions where they exist in the South Asian region” said the Chairperson, Punjab Commission on the Status of Women.
The bill strengthens existing shelters for women and aims to create shelters where there is a need. Planned Violence Against Women Centres will house all related facilitation services under one roof, including police desks for the registration of FIR; a female medico legal officer of Health Department for medico-legal examination; dedicated staff along with necessary infrastructure for collection of forensic evidence and a psychologist for psycho-social counseling of women survivors of violence.
District Women Protection Committees will also be created to monitor violence against women and provide support to women survivors of violence in their districts. It is expected that documentation of cases by the various institutions under this law will help obtain an accurate picture of violence against women and help strengthen prevention and protection measures in Punjab.
The Bill contains rehabilitation mechanisms including technical and vocational training of residents to enable self reliance once they leave the Shelter homes.
Chairperson Punjab Commission on the Status of Women said the Bill and protection mechanisms contained within it, will be crucial in terms of prevention and protection of women who are subjected to violence in the home and outside.
“Institutions within the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Bill 2015 will ensure implementation of the law”, she stated.