They emphasised on the need for better partnership between civil society groups working in these areas and the police and other government agencies, saying this was a process that had picked up pace over the past years to uphold the rule of law and the rights of people.
Vrinda Grover, prominent Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist while addressing a national conference on “First Response, Good Policing and Rape Survivors”, asserted that while there was an increase in reports about sexual violence, there was under-reporting of sexual assaults in the families and the places of work.
“There is a need for greater representation of women in the police force and rigorous training in evidence collection and investigation, without which convictions in cases become impossible,” Grover said.
Former Director General of Police Kanwaljit Deol said that there was no political will in the country to keep women safe and it can never become an election issue. “I also feel that the police have been used very badly in our country, politically. The good officers, who are in the position to lead, are sidelined. There is no political will in this country to keep women safe. It is never an election issue,” Deol said.
Discussions was organised by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in collaboration with the British High Commission revolved around the initiatives being taken by the police in Delhi and Mumbai to improve women’s safety and the key interventions required to support rape survivors.
“A victim becomes a survivor only when justice is done, conviction takes place and he or she is rehabilitated. The legal community and the civil society should join hands to protect the dignity of the complainants, and guide victims through the legal processes and help with their rehabilitation,” said Flavia Agnes, lawyer and co-founder of the Mumbai-based NGO, Majlis.