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7 January, 2022 10:36:34 PM

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Role of 999 in preventing violence against women

If someone is in danger and calls 999, he is immediately connected to the concerned police station and the police are sent from the concerned police station but if this arrangement can be made directly then it is more effective.
Majhar Mannan
Role of 999 in preventing violence against women

Domestic violence and violence against women in Bangladesh is nothing new. Although the government is working tirelessly for the empowerment of women, the number of cases of violence against women seems to be increasing day by day.

A report by the World Health Organization published in March last year found that Bangladesh ranks fourth in terms of wife abuse. The report also shows that 50 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are abused by their husbands. However, about 87% of women in Bangladesh are victims of some form of harassment in their own home and at work or outside the home.

Domestic violence has increased by about 10 percent in the last one year and there have been about 608 incidents domestic violence in the last 11 months, according to the information of Law and Arbitration Center. The number of wife abuse by husbands is increasing day by day, as evidenced by the number of calls received from 999. Wives from different parts of the country have called the emergency services 999 with horrific images of abuse by their husbands. Corona epidemic has multiplied the incidence of domestic violence and violence against women in Bangladesh in the last two years. Victims and abused women are receiving emergency services by calling 999 and many are benefiting.

An analysis of the number 999 calls shows that the number of calls about violence against women is much higher from 2020 to 2021. There were 4994 calls regarding violence against women in 2020 but before corona in 2019 the number of calls was 1561. In 2021 there were 7151 calls regarding violence against women. This number of calls on violence against women proves that the importance of 999 is increasing day by day. According to the survey, 47% of women seeking remedy at the National Emergency Services Centre have been abused by their husbands. Emergency Services 999 was launched on 12 December 2017 through the Department of Information and Communication Technology. Any citizen of Bangladesh can get emergency services at any time by making a complete toll free call from any mobile number.

However, in order to receive emergency services, the caller must provide the correct location, answer the question correctly and provide the required information within a short period of time. If there is any kind of danger or someone is a victim of cyber crime, can call and he/ she can get emergency service. Three important services are available 24 hours a day from the National Emergency Service Center and they are ambulance service, fire service and police service. People are getting adequate service and immediate remedies from the number 999, but experts believe that after calling the number 999, the system should be faster and smoother. 

If someone is in danger and calls 999, he is immediately connected to the concerned police station and the police are sent from the concerned police station but if this arrangement can be made directly then it is more effective. Experts believe that separate units and skilled manpower could be mobilized to ensure services on women's issues. After calling 999, police are dispatched from the concerned police station but it is often seen that after the police arrival, the victims say that they have solved their problem and no more services are required. However, a survey has revealed that the abusers are frightened when the police come after calling 999 and this has led to a decrease in violence against women.

The National Emergency Services Center received calls about various forms of violence against women, including attempted rape, sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and harassment of women outside the home. According to the newspaper report, the endangered women called 999 and received immediate remedy and returned home safely.
People's confidence in the National Emergency Services Center is increasing day by day and the National Emergency Services Center is reported to be providing excellent service by dividing the calls on women abuse into nine categories. When the 999 service was launched in 2017, there were 8 to 10 thousand calls per day but now there are 30 to 35 thousand calls per day. Most of them are about women abuse. From the call received from number 999, it is known that the complaint against the husband has increased by 174 percent. 

In 2021 the National Emergency Services Center received 3348 calls against husband abuse and in 2020 which was 1223 and in 2019 which was 388. This figure of a number proves that the 999 service is gaining so much popularity that people are gaining confidence and here women in particular are able to avail the service by calling safely. Experts believe that the number 999 could play a unique role in preventing violence against women, but it will require additional manpower, skilled manpower and some structural changes.

When the citizens of the country will  realize that a definite remedy can be found by calling 999 then the offenders or criminals will be alert and they will not dare to commit crime easily and the biggest benefit will be enjoyed by helpless women. When the victim calls 999, the police rush to the spot from the concerned police station and seeing the police the perpetrators try to solve the problem as soon as possible but the victim needs to be aware of these tactics and cooperate with the police with factual information. One of the reasons for the high number of women being tortured in Bangladesh is that after the torture, women do not dare to go to the police station or court to complain or they think it is extra trouble and this is the main reason why the number of women being tortured is increasing. But with the help of technology, women from different parts of the country can easily report their abuse or story of abuse to the police using mobile phones and get immediate services and if this service can be expedited then women will benefit more.

The Government of Bangladesh is making various efforts for the overall security of women and empowerment of women and is taking various initiatives. Many people in the country, especially those living in remote areas, are still unaware of the benefits of 999 Numbers, so there is a need to raise awareness about the number 999. More and more people need to be brought under the 999 service because it is a simple and fast service delivery system. 

The authority should take steps to ensure that no one can give false or misleading information on 999 number but only the real victims can get the real service by calling. The 999 service is one of the hallmarks of Digital Bangladesh and one of the major contribution of the Government of Bangladesh. So if this service can be accelerated then women empowerment will be ensured on the one hand and women will feel comfortable and secure on the other hand, and a beautiful society will be built.

The writer is Assistant Professor, B A F Shaheen College, Kurmitola
Dhaka Cantonment.

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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