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The Special Cell for Women Shillong, Meghalaya

1. Background: In December 2015, the National Commission for Women (NCW) in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) started a pilot project - 'Violence-free Home - A Woman's Right' in 22 districts across 7 States, namely, Assam, Meghalaya, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & Odhisa- with the aim to empower women and respond to women survivors of violence in both public and private life. The project aims to provide psycho-socio-legal servies to empower violated women, and to support them in their journey for justice, based on the Special Cell approach (initiated by TISS in 1984) of location within the Police system. The strategic alliance with the Police is based on the CEDAW-mandated Constitutional principle that violence against women (VAW) is a crime and that it is the responsibility of the State to prevent and counter such violence against its citizens. The Cells were started with an understanding that this alliance would lead to a more co-ordinated, coherent and in-depth response to the issue of VAW with an aim to integrating provision of quality psycho-social-legal services within the police system.

2. The Special Cell for Women, Shillong: The Special Cell in Meghalaya is located at the Sadar Police Station in the district of East Khasi Hills. The service has commenced from 14th June, 2016 and was formally inaugurated on the 27th of January, 2017. Since June 2016 till May 2017, a total of 35 cases have been registerred and 89 cases have come to the Special Cell for one time intervention. The social workers have carried out in-depth intervention in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, violence in intimate partner relationships, missing cases and immoral trafficking.