For both women from diverse backgrounds, the One Stop Centre (OSC), functioning inside the Government Service Home in Tambaram, has been a platform for seeking solutions to their problems. From domestic violence to child marriages, the OSC which has been functioning for more than a year now, has offered help to close to 88 women.
Being the first in the state, the centre which is being funded under the Nirbhaya Fund of the Central Government, has also found takers in districts like Madurai, where a child marriage was stopped, after the victim had approached the OSC. A senior official from the Directorate of Social Welfare said, “It is both for emergency and non-emergency cases, as we combine information and response to various issues.”
OSCs offer 24-hour services aiming to offer emergency response and rescue service, medical assistance, psycho-social support, legal aid and counselling and shelter, apart from assistance in lodging FIR/ NCR/DIR. The 88 cases reported so far include domestic violence, sexual harassment, child marriage, missing and kidnapping and dowry harassment among other cases.
A major section of them have been reunited with the families and some have linked with other homes and have received vocational training. OSC comprises a centre administrator, two case workers, IT worker and a multipurpose worker.
A staff from the centre added that much to their surprise, most women who have sought help have been from the educated and upper-middle class and working women categories. “It came as a surprise to us they were not aware that there is a law that mandates that every workplace has a sexual harassment committee,” she said. The OSC will soon have its own building with five centres in Kancheepuram, Tiruchy, Madurai, Salem and Coimbatore.
Get in touch with OSC on: 044-22233355.
*names have been changed to protect identity