Kolkata : There is need to sensitise the society at large rather than hardening the laws and punishments to tackle gender-based violence, according to a panel of Calcutta High Court judges.
“The only way out is a sort of a mass movement in terms of consciousness, a movement where not only the legislature, the court but people in general are kind of sensitised to take this issue forward,” Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya said.
She was participating in a programme on gender-based violence and access to justice organised by the US Consulate here on Friday.
Dwelling on the access to justice for victims of gender-based violence, she said: “One of the strongest weapons that woman have is the social media, if we face an issue either at workplace, or at home or the streets we can always have recourse to the social media.”
According to her, most women do not even know the laws which can protect their rights, to show the way when they face violence from anybody. Also, they are ignorant about whom to approach or which are the agencies (be it under the statute or even the non-governmental bodies).
The time is sometimes very crucial in such cases.
“It is the problem of resource in most cases. Now there are the State Legal Aid Services, the NALSA (National Legal Services Authority) to look into these problems. But who will disseminate this information?” Bhattacharya added.
Many rescued victims of human trafficking are known to have gone back to the trade due to the society.
Pointing out the societal norms, Justice Joymalya Bagchi said: “The difficulty was the absorption and the re-integration of the victim — the survivor of trafficking — back into the domestic pole.”
Speaking about various forms of gender-based violence, Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharya said: “Chivalry is an implicit acknowledgement that the other person is weaker. For a moment, let us be uncivil and think equal.”
According to him, violence is the tip of the iceberg. The genesis of all violence particularly gender-based violence is lopsided power structure of society and the relics of patriarchal society.