Mazgaon Court creates safe space for survivors

Nov 21, 2018, 07:50 IST | Diwakar Sharma

As they await their turn to testify, the women can wait in this room, ensuring they do not have to face their abusers or any other person who might try to intimidate or misguide them

Mazgaon Court creates safe space for survivors
Survivors can wait in this room, where traffickers can't intimidate or misguide them

Sex trafficking survivors now have a safe space to go to as they wait for justice at the courthouse. In a bid to provide a safe environment for survivors testifying before the magistrate, a Victim Friendly Room (VFR) has been set up at the Special Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA) Court in Mazgaon under the guidelines of the Bombay High Court. As they await their turn to testify, the women can wait in this room, ensuring they do not have to face their abusers or any other person who might try to intimidate or misguide them.

The idea of setting up this space was advocated by the International Justice Mission (IJM), an anti-human trafficking body, and was funded by the court. "When trafficking survivors are produced in court, there is a very long waiting time because the ITPA magistrate has to deal with many cases. Earlier, these survivors had to wait in the corridor, where the traffickers and pimps would also be present and sometimes intimidate the survivors," Melissa Walavalkar, Director of Justice Solutions at IJM told mid-day. "I am grateful that after one-and-a-half years, the room has been created and funded by the court after the relentless efforts of the magistrate upon our request," added Walavalkar.

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