In  order to help women in distress, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) started the  phone ‘Helpline’ in March 2000. The phone number is advertised and the women in  distress are encouraged to seek counseling through telephone between 9.30am to 6.00pm from Monday to  Friday.

Trained  Counselors listen to the problems narrated on phone and counsel the complainant  to solve her problem as far as possible. Problems which require counseling of  the other party against which complaint has been made, are advised to be  registered in the Commission personally from Monday to Friday between 9.30am to 6.00pm. These are attended  by DCW Members in the family Counselling Unit cell ‘Sahyogini’.

The  ‘Helpline’ attends to 20-25 calls per day. The areas in which counseling is  provided and cases have been registered include:


  • Matrimonial  discord
  • Family adjustment  problems
  • Physical and  mental harassment by in-laws
  • Harassment by  neighbours or others
  • Child custody
  • Maintenance,  divorce and desertion
  • Rape
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional  distress
  • Harassment at  work place
  • Legal advice and  implications
  • Other  miscellaneous problems of women
  • Harassment related to police
  • Non co-operation from police
  • Sexual harassment at workplace
  • Property dispute
  • Missing / kidnapping

       The  ‘Helpline’ number is 23379181



‘Sahyogini’ the family counseling cell


The  Commission has a family counseling unit called ‘Sahyogini’ from the time of its  inception in 1997. Sahyogini has a panel of Members, usually 5 in number, each  of them are assisted by a lawyer who guides them in laws related to women. Sahyogini  exercises the powers of a civil court to ensure compliance of its summons for  witnesses and for evidence.


The  complaints which are registered in the telephonic ‘Helpline’ are marked to one  of the Members who summon both the parties for hearing and counseling. Often  disputes are settled through counseling and families are reconciled. A follow  up is also maintained about the cases handled by the unit. The  number of cases handled by the unit has been steadily increasing since its  inception. Through ‘Sahyogini’ the Commission has created a friendly space  where sensitive family issues can be discussed, counseling taken and reconciliation  attempted at the pre litigation stage.


Cases  attended in ‘Sahyogini’ pertain to the following areas:

    1.      Harassment by Husband/In-laws/others,
    2.      Harassment of old women by relatives,

    3.      Dowry related issues,
    4.      Domestic violence,
    5.      Harassment by neighbours,
    6.      Extra marital relationships


The  aims and objectives of the CICs are to extend support to the victims of rape.  This includes, counseling services for the victim and her family, get MLC done  at the hospital, register FIR in the police station, give emotional support to  the victim and prepare her to face the court proceedings.

The  Commission is the nodal agency of the CICS and it provides financial support to  the NGOs working as CICs.   


Rape Crisis Cell


The  Rape Crisis Cell (RCC) was started in the Commission in 2005. It was established  in view of the rising trend in sexual abuse of women in Delhi, especially minor girls. The Cell  functions with the help of lawyers, who are assisted by the Crisis Intervention  Centres (CICs) functioning in the nine police districts of Delhi. The CICs help the RCC lawyers to  identify cases of rape in different areas of Delhi. They, then, meet the rape victims and  their family members and provide assistance in terms of counseling, filing FIR,  facing trials in the court, free legal service etc. Besides these assistances,  the Cell also acts as a co-ordinating agency for services like, medical, mental health,  shelter and financial assistance to the victims with the help of a network of  NGOs. The  victim, who is in a traumatic state because of the sexual assault, is helped by  these lawyers to prepare for facing the court proceedings. They actively oppose  the bail applications of the accused and also assist the Public Prosecutors in  preparing the charge sheet and arguments to put the accused behind bars. The  RCC lawyers provide emotional support to the victim and her family, by visiting  them frequently. They also help in the rehabilitation of the victim.


The  RCC works 24x7 throughout the year. The telephone number is 23370557.


Twenty-four hour Mobile Helpline - 1800-11-9292


In  order to provide immediate relief to women in distress, the 24-hour Mobile  Helpline Van was flagged off in July 2008 by Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Hon’ble Chief  Minister of Delhi.  The Van was outsourced to All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) and the toll free  number 1800-11-9292 was released by Smt. Barkha Singh, Chairperson DCW on 3rd September, 2009.  Coordinator and three counselors can be contacted on this number by women in  distress at any time during the day. When  calls are received on the toll-free number, the counselors inform the concerned  area police station, so that one police personnel, preferably a lady police  officer, may reach the place of incident at somewhat the same time as the  Helpline counselors and help the woman in overcoming the distress. They counsel  the people involved in the incident or get FIR registered with the help of the  police personnel visiting the site. If required, the victim is taken to ‘Bapnu  Ghar’, a shelter home for the destitute at AIWC, and is provided shelter till  her case is solved.


The  24-hour mobile helpline has provided relief to women of Delhi in cases which are of varied types.  While a large number of calls are from women who are victims of domestic  violence, the counselors have also rescued women who have been abandoned by  their families and given them shelter

in  Bapnu Ghar. In one case a mentally deranged woman was rescued from the street,  admitted in a hospital and later sent for treatment to the Institute of Human  Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAAS), where she  is receiving care and treatment.


Mahila Panchayat


Mahila  Panchayat (MP) was launched in 2001. It is an initiative taken up by the  Commission for legal empowerment of women and for distress redressal at the  community level. Groups of community women, identified by NGOs, form a  panchayat in their area, take up local disputes, counsel the two parties and  assist in reducing violence in their locality. There are two paralegal workers  in a panchayat. These women are selected from the community, are trained in the  different laws pertaining to women and guided in the process of handling a case  and counseling women in distress.


In  2004 the Mahila Panchayats were revised and 36 MPs became active in the field  under the supervision of 16 NGOs. The cases taken up by them pertained to  domestic violence, alcoholism and other issues. They were able to resolve most  of the cases at their level, seeking help of the Commission only when required.


In  2010 there has been a third revision of Mahila Panchayats. At present there are  58 NGOs which are managing two panchayats each in different areas of Delhi. Awareness camps are  organized at the community level to create awareness in the women and men of  the community about their legal rights, social, family and health issues.


Pre-marital Counseling


The  pre-marital counseling centre was started in July 2008. A growing number of  failed marriages in and around Delhi necessitated the need for opening such a  centre in the Commission, where Counselors can counsel the pre-nuptial couples  on various issues related to marriage, such as, having realistic expectations  with each other, perceiving each other as equal players in home making, being  sensitive to each other’s feelings etc. The parents of both  sides are also counseled to provide physical and emotional support to the new  couple and positively guide them to adjust to the changed life-situations.

Cases  of young adults going to get married as well as young couples recently married are  regularly received at the centre. Some of the problems foreseen are adjustment  in a joint family when the girl comes from a nuclear family, unwillingness to  do household chores etc. The problems between married couples include  intolerance of each others habits, ways of functioning and over dependence on  parents etc. Sometimes counseling is also given on phone, when the client is  seeking some advice regarding marriage.


The  pre-marital centre functions from 9.30am  to 6.00pm, from Monday to  Friday. The contact number is 23370146.


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Last Updated : 22 Oct,2014