Kerala HC notifies a list of directions for protection of sexual assault survivours

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Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: Kerala High Court has come up with a list of directions to empower sexual assault survivours so that they are encouraged to approach the law enforcement bodies.

Justice Devan Ramachandran issued the directions while adjudicating a plea filed by the survivour against an accused and two cops who allegedly harassed her.

The court cited various instances in which the survivours faced harassment and mental torture. It even pointed out that it is an ordeal for the survivour to share their experience.

Societal stigma and victim blaming are adding to the plight of the survivours, the court said.

The court has urged for a comprehensive functioning of Victim Liaison Officer (VLO) established based on State Police Chief’s circular in 2012.

The directions have been notified to ensure that mechanisms are in place for sexual assault survivours. The major directions are:

  • 112, the toll-free number for reporting sexual atrocities, should be regularly published in gazettes
  • The survivours should be encouraged to approach police control room and helpline
  • The officials should be trained for handling calls and they should immediately report the matter to the police station concerned
  • The law enforcement agencies should aid the survivour from the beginning to disposal of case
  • The confidentiality of the survivour should be maintained and the statements should be taken at the convenience of the survivour, by ensuring the presence of parents or close family members

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