Today is November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This day also marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism against Gender-based Violence that lasts till December 10.
On the very occasion, Onlinekhabar recently talked with Nepal Police Inspector Anu Lama, the chief of Women, Children and Senior Citizen Service Center (WCSC) of Nepal Police, formerly known as Women Cell, that was established in 1996 ‘to combat all forms of inhumane acts against women, children and senior citizens’ to review the overall status of violence against women in the country and police efforts to minimise them.
You have to deal with multiple cases of violence against women every day. How do you, as a woman, feel about it?
We have to deal with cases including rape, polygamy, child marriage, domestic violence, harassment, and attempted rape. As a woman, handling these cases every day makes me really sad and sometimes frustrated. I sometimes even question if there are any effects of social campaigning against violence against women.
This is interesting. There is campaigning, but news reports and other official reports show that cases of violence against women have increased every year. What does this mean?
Of course, the crime and complaint rates are directly proportional to population growth. With the increasing population, the surge in crime and complaints is natural. Besides, I also feel people have become more aware now, thanks to awareness campaigns and increased literacy rates.
Women are now empowered both mentally and financially. Women now know their rights that they should not tolerate such violence and are not confined to living with the abuser anymore. Therefore, they freely lodge complaints against the abuser now.
I don’t see an increase in the number of complaints about violence against women as a problem. In the past also, there happened different forms of violence against women, but they remained unreported. The survivors remained suppressed and quiet, tolerating everything as they were neither aware nor independent.
Also, along with development, the lifestyle of people changed, but their mindset has remained traditional, which is also contributing to the rising violence cases, especially of domestic violence. T
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