Over ₹10 crore released in aid to victims of sex crimes under Aswasanidhi project

Nearly 1,400 victims of sex crimes and highly heinous gender-based violence have collectively received an interim financial relief to the tune of ₹10.17 crore under the Aswasanidhi project of the Women and Child Development department since its inception in 2018.

The Nirbhaya cell of the department shared details of the project in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by RTI activist Raju Vazhakkala.

The State government had set up a corpus fund of ₹3 crore in the 2018-19 Budget for the project realising the need to provide financial aid to the victims. The assistance is being made available under the project irrespective of the aid received by the victims under the Victim Compensation Fund or any other compensation given under legal provisions.

The largest assistance under the Aswasanidhi project was released during the 2021-22 financial year when 472 victims collectively received ₹3.78 crore followed by 2022-23 when 294 victims benefited to the tune of ₹2.32 crore. In 2020-21, ₹1.58 crore was distributed to 284 victims, while so far during this fiscal, 199 victims had received ₹1.40 crore. The corresponding numbers for 2018-19 and 2019-20 were ₹28.95 lakh for 51 victims and ₹59.30 lakh for 84 victims.

Ten different categories of victims, including those who fall prey to sexual offences chargeable under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, are eligible for assistance under the Aswasanidhi project released by the Director of the Women and Child Development department.

The assistance under the project ranges from ₹25,000 to ₹2 lakh depending on the gravity of the offence. Victims of acid attack are entitled to the biggest assistance, a minimum relief of ₹1 lakh and a maximum of ₹2 lakh. Grievous physical or mental injury due to domestic violence and women and children rescued from trafficking attracted the lowest minimum and maximum relief of ₹25,000 and ₹50,000 each respectively. For the remaining category of victims, the minimum and maximum assistance is ₹50,000 and ₹1 lakh respectively.

Victims of rape, gang-rape, and unnatural sexual offences, loss of life, pregnancy on account of rape, loss of body parts, miscarriage as a result of sexual assault, and burn injuries were also entitled to assistance under the project.

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