There are many rights women have but are unaware of. So here are some of the basic rights every woman should know they have because these can help women a lot. A few rights that will help us be safe and independent.
1 Free legal aid
Most women do not know about this and more than not they go to the police station for lodging a complaint or to give their statements. This might backfire on them as if a lawyer in not present with them their case may be taken lightly and their report may also not be filed. Also in some cases their statements can be twisted and tampered with as well. If you have a lawyer along with you can easily avoid these situations and ensure that your words are not misused and also that they are taken seriously. According to the Delhi high court a rape victim is entitled to a lawyer free of charge by the government.
2 Right to privacy while recording statement
Sometimes when a woman is a victim to a crime, she might not be comfortable giving her statement and telling about her ordeal with so many people around her listening to all of this. For this there is a provision provided, which gives women the right to give their statement in privacy in front of the district magistrate or with just one police officer and a female constable. She has the right to record her statement in privacy.
3 Time doesn’t matter
This is something very few people know, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police must register an FIR even if there has been a gap between the report and the occurrence of the incident. This is because when a woman is raped it is a torturous ordeal for her, and it might take her a lot of time to recover from it or to muster up the courage to go and report the crime. So for this very reason, the law provides for women to report the crime after however long they wish and the police have to lodge their complaint and start taking action on it.
4 Email to the rescue
Many a times women feel threatened and insecure so they do not want to go to the police station to report the crime. This might be because they feel threatened that their culprit might see them going their for help and might torture her more. Also sometimes the crime takes place within the house and is committed by a family member and the woman might not be allowed to go out or is always accompanied so that she cannot report the crime. So a woman has the privilege of lodging a complaint via email or registered post. She can send a written complaint through an email or registered post addressed to a senior police officer of the level of Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner of Police. After the complaint is received a team is dispatched to the place of the crime for proper investigation of the complaint and to take her statement personally.
5 Cops can’t say no
Sometimes police officers refuse to register the complaint and shy away from their responsibility and send away the victims saying that the case does not fall under their area of jurisdiction and that they should go and register their complain to some other police station. So the supreme court has passed a law saying that the police have to write down the complaint of the victim no matter where the crime took place. We all should keep this in mind.
6 No arrests after sunset
There are many cases where a woman is harassed by police officers at odd hours under the pretext of arresting her for a crime. This is something very important and we all should remember and try and tell more women about it. According to the Supreme Court a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. And this stands true for every case even if there is a woman police offier the arrest cannot be made.
7 You can’t be called to the police station
The Supreme Court provides for a law stating that women cannot be called to the police station for taking their statement, it is against the law. This law provides Indian women the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation. According to the law women can be interrogated at home in the presence of a female police officer and her family, where she feels comfortable.
8 Protect your identity
Under no circumstances can the identity of a rape victim be revealed. Rather giving out any details of the victim by anyone, be it the media or the police is a punishable offence.Even while a judgment is in progress at the high court or a lower court, the name of the victim is not indicated, she is only described as ‘victim’ in the judgment.
9 The doctor can’t decide
A case of rape can’t be dismissed even if the doctor says rape had not taken place. And not just this but a woman has the right to have a copy of the medical report from the doctor. The only conclusion a doctor can state is whether there is evidence of any sexual activity or not and nothing more. It is not upto the doctor to decide whether rape took place or not.
10 Employers must protect
According to the Supreme Court, it is compulsory for all firms, public and private, to set up sexual harassment committees to resolve matters of sexual harassment. It is also necessary that the committee be headed by a woman and comprise 50% women as members.