With field experience of around 10 years in Indian Criminal Justice System (CJS), DISHA came to the belief that in order to create a victim supportive environment and improve victim’s status in the criminal justice system, it is necessary to empower the victim at the first place of contact with the system which is Police Station.
The help-desk service was started with that intention. The activity started in 2012 and within three years reached to around 115 victims from only one police station. So it received significant response from the police personnel as well and later was scaled up into a project called ‘Mobile Help Desk’ supported by Forbes Marshall Foundation. This service / project aims to empower victim and people affected by violence at their first step in the Police station by providing authentic, appropriate social and legal information and referrals to take informed decisions and seek justice and rights to lead crime-impact free life. This complete provision of information in victim receptive manner is a special service designed by DISHA called socio-legal guidance.
For this project we enhanced this service by integrating it with the World Health Organization’s promoted ‘Psychological First Aid’ service for people in crisis.
The reach out of this project is in 31 rural police stations of Amravati District. And within span of two years we have reached to around 260 peopleaffected with violence; whereas with the Help Desk activity since 2012 to March 2019 we have reached to around 502 victims / people affected by violence in Amravati district. DISHA has also taken some steps such as developing a ‘Manual for Social Worker’ working in help-desk set-up and training module of such social workers, to increase the replicability of Help Desk at police stations.