Police personnel to be taught gender sensitisation

Delhi Police personnel will now be imparted special lessons on gender sensitisation and how to investigate rape cases.

New Delhi: Often criticised for their `insensitive` approach towards victims of sexual assault, Delhi Police personnel will now be imparted special lessons on gender sensitisation and how to investigate rape cases.

Coming in the wake of the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year- old paramedical student that sparked a national outrage, the men in khaki would be taught `Investigation of Rape Cases` by woman police officers.

An initiative of the Delhi Police to sensitise its personnel to deal with such cases, the course was today launched at the Specialised Training Centre in Rajendra Nagar here by Justice Geeta Mittal of Delhi High Court and Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research.

Referring to the societal divide, Kumari said women are always treated as "second-grade citizens" even at home while boys have ample freedom which later develops into arrogance.

Rape and other sexual offences need special attention from the police as a woman would come to them only as a last resort, she told the personnel.

"A woman comes to you as her last resort, when all her other options are exhausted. In that case, you need to be empathetic to her," said Kumari.

Echoing similar views, Justice Mittal said, "Women in our society have no choice of their own because everything is dictated by her father, then her husband and then her son."

Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said deploying a female constable at women`s help desk is not enough because "it is not necessary that she would be sensitive to women because both men and women in our society today have the same mentality that men should dominate women."

"A father would proudly claim that his son is a goonda and he has five girlfriends but the same father won`t say that his daughter has five male friends. So rape is not just a law and order problem and to eradicate it, we need to address the gender divide in the society," he said.

Justice Mittal said women`s individuality and personality are completely repressed.

"Even her sexuality is controlled by her husband, something which is totally hers. This is something very deep- rooted in our society about which we are not even conscious about," she said.

Noting that it is very difficult for a rape victim to talk about the incident, she said, "The woman would have to cross many barriers like her shyness, opposition from her family and the society before coming up to you and explaining how her sexuality was violated.

"How to tell, what to tell, choosing words to explain, all this is immense mental trauma which one has to go through not only once but many times, from police station to court room. It is due to this grilling process that victims backtrack and the criminals are acquitted," she said.

The personnel would be trained on how to deal with the victim when she comes to them to report a case of sexual assault and other issues.


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