HELPLINE AGAINST ATROCITIES ON
Kerala State Women's Commission was established in 1996 as a statutory body constituted under Kerala Women's Commission Act 1990 (Act 17 of 1995) as per GO (P) No.9/96/SWD dated 14-3-96 with the objective of improving the status of women in Kerala and to enquire into unfair practices against women. There is more visibility on violence against women after the formation and functioning of the commission as women get a space to come out and complaint about the violence whether it is domestic violence, harassment at work place or other kinds of atrocities against them. In the first 4 years itself, it has received about 30,000 complaints. The nature of complaints showed that majority of them relate to harassment of women, harassment by husband, dowry harassment, and neigbours’ nuisance.
How can I file a petition to the Commission?
can be submitted to the Commission on white paper, either
written or typed giving the full postal addresses of the
petitioner and respondents.
Is it necessary to affix court fee stamp in the petition
is no need for affixing court fee stamp or remitting fee for
filing a petition with the Commission.
What is the number of copies of the petition to be
of the petition to be submitted depend on the number of
addresses of respondents.
Is it necessary to have the legal assistance of an advocate
for filing the petition?
of an advocate is not entertained for filing a petition in the
Can I approach the Commission for getting solution in a
Petitions having a civil nature are not considered in the
Are petitions by men accepted in the Commission?
exceptional cases, petitions by men for family re-union are
accepted in the Commission.
Is petitions not involving harassment of women or any
issues related to women entertained in the Commission?
Such general petitions not involving any issue of women are
not entertained in the Commission.
Can I approach the Commission for getting Divorce from my
such the Kerala Women's Commission does not accept any
petition for divorce. But in some rare cases, it may be
necessary for the wife to get relief from her husband through
divorce; in such cases Commission may suggest them to file a
case for divorce in the court.
Is the Commission providing legal aid to the affected women
Women's Commission provides legal aid through KELSA (Kerala
State Legal Services authority) in Kochi and through DLSA
(District Legal Services Authority)
Is the Commission providing financial assistance for
conducting DNA test to solve disputed paternity?
paternity is quite often found in the petitions received in
the Commission. In a majority of the cases, due to financial
difficulties, the petitioners find it difficult to go for a
DNA Test to prove their claim. The Commission conducts, at its
own expense, DNA Tests in respect of petitioners below the
poverty line and also for petitioners belonging to the SC
& ST. With the financial assistance from the Commission,
Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Bio- technology conducts such tests
for Rs. 20,000/- per test.
What are the formalities to be satisfied for conducting DNA
tests at the expense of the Commission?
Commission conducts all DNA Tests in respect of SC & ST
petitioners at its own expense devoid of any economic
criteria. They only have to submit a Community Certificate
from the Tahsildar proving the same. However, in the case of
petitioners other than those belonging to SC & ST, they
should be Below Poverty Line (BPL) and should submit a
certificate from the Tahsildar stating their economic
Is there any provision for counseling in the Women's
Commission is providing the services of counselors at its
office and in the course of its petition redressal activities
conducted at various districts.
Is the Commission providing any financial assistance to
women for starting business enterprises?
The Commission does not provide such services. The Kerala
State Women's Development Corporation is expected to perform
such services for the needy women.
What are the functions of the Commission ?
Commission shall perform all or any of the following functions
Inquire into any unfair practice, take decision thereon
and to recommend to the Government the action to be taken in
Cause investigations to be made by the Director on issues
of importance concerning women and issues concerning unfair
practice and to report thereon to the Government on the
corrective measures to be taken
Submit to the Government annual reports on
The lacunae, inadequacies, or shortcomings in the laws in
force which affect the constitutional right to equality and
fair treatment of women and also on the remedial legislative
measures to be taken to meet the situation
The monitoring of the working of laws in force concerning
women with a view to identifying the areas where the
enforcement of laws is not adequately effective or has not
been streamlined and recommending executive or legislative
measures to be taken
Monitoring the recruitments made to State Public Services
and State Public Undertakings and promotions within the said
services and scrutinising the rules and regulations governing
such recruitments and promotions with a view to reporting to
the government action, if any, required to guarantee equal
opportunity to women in the matter of such recruitments and
(a) inspect or cause to be inspected, by the Director or any
officer of the Commission authorised by the Commission in that
behalf, prisons, police stations, lock-ups, sub-jails, rescue
homes or other places of custody where women are kept as
prisoners or otherwise, or shelters for women or other places
run by the Government or any of its agencies including
agencies receiving aid from the Government for the purpose of
offering rescue or shelter to women, or hostels intended for
women or girls run by any person and such other places wherein
unfair practice to women is complained of and cause further
inquiries to be made about the treatment that women and girls
are subjected to at such places and to report to the
Government for taking remedial action.
(b) In cases where the Commission is of the view that any
public servant has been grossly negligent or grossly
indifferent in regard to the discharge of his duties in
relation to the protection of the interests of women recommend
to the concerned disciplinary authority to initiate
disciplinary action Recommend to Government, the welfare
measures to be adopted and implemented by the Government with
a view to ameliorating the conditions of women; (vi) Formulate
a comprehensive and affirmative scheme for securing equal
opportunities to women and devise a programme for implementing
such scheme which shall be forwarded to the Government for
approval and on obtaining approval thereof with or without
modifications, implement the same
Empower the Director to recommend to the appropriate authority
to take prosecution proceedings in respect of offences
committed against women under any statute providing for
penalty for violation of the provisions of such statute
Maintain comprehensive Data Bank relating to the social
economic and political conditions of women including
comparative study, updating the same from time to time making
available such data for use in actions for vindication of the
rights of women
Recommend to government to initiate legislation for removal of
discrimination in the case of inheritance, guardianship,
adoption and divorce or for matters relating to the
safeguarding of the dignity of women and the honour of
Call for special studies or investigations into specific
problems or situations arising out of discrimination and
atrocities against women and identify the constraints so as to
recommend strategies for their removal
Participate and advise on the planning process of
socio-economic development of women
Fund litigation involving issues affecting a large body of
Make periodical reports to the Government on any matter
pertaining to women and in particular various difficulties
under which women toil
Undertake promotional and educational research so as to
suggest ways of ensuring due representation of women in all
spheres and identify factors responsible for impeding their
advancement, such as, lack of access to housing and basic
services, inadequate support services and technologies for,
reducing drudgery and occupational health hazards and for
increasing their productivity
Any other matter, which may be referred to it by the
Is the Commission providing financial assistance to women
in distress ?
the Commission provides financial assistance to women in
distress. Payments are made from the Distress Relief Fund of
the Commission. The fund, which is solely maintained by
donations from the public, has been constituted with the aim
to provide financial assistance to women in distress. Since
poor and helpless women of the society are the main
beneficiaries of this fund, the public is urged to contribute
generously to this fund.
Is the Commission providing shelter to women ?
Commission is running a Short Stay Home at Thiruvananthapuram
which provides temporary shelter to women in distress who are
unable to return to their homes fearing cruelty and
harassment. The Commission provides temporary refuge to such
women during the pendency of their cases before the Commission
Jagratha Samithis are a voluntary vigilant group of citizens
which act as the eyes and ears of the Kerala Women's
Commission. They should play a major role in the prevention of
crimes. For instance, if there is any indication of a place
being utilized for immoral and illegal purposes; or if any
child has been abducted, kidnapped; or if any woman has been
forced into prostitution; or cases off violence due to
alcoholism, it shall be the duty of the Jagratha Samithi to
take up the issue and settle it at the local Panchayat level
itself. If the issues require assistance from higher
authorities then the Jagratha Samithis should take up the
matters at the District Samithi level headed by the District
Collector. If at the District Samithi level also the
matter has not been settled, then it should be brought to the
notice of the Kerala Women's Commission.
With a view to protect the
rights of women in the State and for the redressal of
atrocities against women, the Govt. of Kerala has constituted
District Samithis and Jagratha Samithis in all districts and
Panchayats in the State of Kerala.
Constitution of the Samithis
District Samithis have been constituted with the following
1. District Collector - Chairman
2. District Panchayat - President Membe
3. Revenue Divisional Officer -do-
4. District Superintendent of Police/ City Police Commissioner
5. Corporation Mayor/ Municipal Chairman -do-
6. One Lady Lawyer -do-
7. One Woman Social Welfare worker or Councillor belonging to
the SC/ST community -do-
8. District Social Welfare Officer - Convener
Constitution of Jagratha Samithis for Panchayats/
Municipal/ Corporation is as follows:
1. Panchayat President/ Municipal Chairman/ Chairman
2. Circle Inspector/ Sub Inspector Member
3. One Woman Panchayat Member/ Councillor -do-
4. One Lady Lawyer -do-
5. One Woman Social Welfare worker or Councillor -do-
belonging to the SC/ST community
6. ICDS Supervisor (selected by the Convener District Social
III. Action Against Culprits by Police
All districts (14 Nos.) have Women’s Cell and Vanitha Police Stations to look into the grievances of women, regarding harassment against them, neglect, desertion, non- recognition of their rights and even family discords.
Women’s Cell in Police Station
A State Women Cell is functioning at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. A Lady Superintendent of Police is the head of the State Women Cell. In addition to this, District Women Cells are also functioning in all Police Districts in Kerala, each headed by a Woman Circle Inspector. They look into the grievances of Women, particularly, harassment against women, neglect, desertion, not recognizing her rights, and even family discords, etc. The Cells are tasked to uphold the right and dignity of Women, and, in appropriate circumstances, register cases against culprits. The Women Cells comprise of Women Officers only. Shortly, the Women Police Constables in such Cells will be provided with scooters for increasing their mobility. Women approach such Cells without any hesitation and fear, and receive free of cost counselling, on various matters. Many-a-time the Women Cells act as interveners and help Women compromise family problems, discords, etc.
In Kerala, there are 17 women cells functioning effectively to fight the atrocities against women in Kerala. Three districts with the metropolises of Trivandrum, Kochi and Kozhikode have two cells each and the rest of the districts one cell each.
Women Desks in Police Stations
Women Desks have been set up in most of the Police Stations of the State, since February 2006, under the charge of Women Police personnel, with an aim to help Women and Children seeking Police help, which they can do without any fear or inhibitions. Cases of atrocities against Women and Children, and harassment of women at home, work places or in public places, come under the purview of the Women Desks. These have proved to be extremely successful.
The Womens Desk in a Police Station is under the control of a WHC/WPC who listens to the complaints patiently and sympathetically, and takes the matter to higher authorities wherever necessary. The Women Desk also provides adequate and proper information to the Women and Children approaching them on various issues relating to the Police work. The Womens Desk is functioning during daytime ie. from 8 AM to 6 PM on all days. This system has been found to be a great success in redressing the grievances of the needy Women and Children.
Petition or grievances can be submitted to the police officers listed below :
- Commissioner of Police, Thiruvananthapuram City, Thiruvananthapuram
- Commissioner of Police, Thiruvananthapuram Rural, Thiruvananthapruam
- Commissioner of Police, Kochi City, Kochi
- Commissioner of Police, Kochi Rural, Kochi
- Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode City, Kozhikode
- Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode Rural, Kozhikode
- Superintendent of Police of all districts except Trivandrum, Kochi, Kozhikode
- Deputy Commissioner of Police, Trivandrum
- Circle Inspector, Vanitha Cell (Concerned districts)
- Sub Inspector, Vanitha Police Station (Concerned districts)
- State Vanitha Cell, Michin Road, Vazhuthacaud, Trivandrum
- Public Window Cell, Police Headquarters, Vazhuthacaud, Trivandrum
How to submit a petition to a women’s cell/Police office?
Petition can be submitted on a white paper either written or typed giving full postal address of the petitioner and respondents. It can also be submitted by post.
Important Telephone Numbers
State Vanitha Cell (TVM) : 0471-2338100
Vanitha Police Station, Trivandrum : 0471-2321555
Women’s Cell, Kollam : 0474-2742376
Women’s Cell, Pathanamthitta : 0468-2222927
Women’s Cell, Kottayam : 0481-2302977
Women’s Cell, Idukki : 9745-769386
Women’s Cell, Kochi :0484-2396730
Women’s Cell, Thrissur : 9745-796230
Women’s Cell, Palakkad : 0491-2522340
Women’s Cell, Malappuram : 9745-769151
Women’s Cell, Kozhikode : 0495-2724070
Women’s Cell, Wayanad : 9745-769072
Women’s Cell, Kannur : 9745-769032
Vanitha Helpline Number of Kerala Police : 9995399953
Police Control Room (For All Districts) : 100
Alert Control : 1090
The Jurisdiction of a Women’s cell/ State Vanitha Cell consists in bringing about rapprochement between the petitioner and respondent if the offences are not of a serious nature and in referring the complaint to a police station for registering a case, if the offences involved are cognizable.