A Complain–Response Mechanism to assist (and protect) children and women will be established in Thimphu with the Royal Bhutan Police – a joint RBP/NCWC project. With domestic violence and violence against women and children coming to the fore, the project is timely and laudable. Centennial Radio has a daily show “Family Matters” where most of the callers so far (except for one) were women in need of help but wanted to be anonymous and wouldn’t want to show up at the police station - nor at the RENEW. The complain mechanism therefore is a good news. But that’s where the good news ends.
A nation boasting to be Buddhist (and thus champion of non-violence) and where tolerance and compassion are core teachings of Buddhism, a project such as this was perhaps the last thing we would have wanted. This is not to discount the works done by the NCWC or the Police. What I am saying is, I wish we never had the requirement for it.
Child protection and protection of women have become common phrases that we don't even think what they really mean. "Protection" against what? "Protection" from whom? Who else but the men folks like you and me. Isn't it that sad that in a country like ours our women have to be protected - our children have to be protected. If there is something I cannot stand, something that really makes me angry, it is when I hear about someone battering his wife or hitting his children.
Some data for you to think over – the RBP’s Woman & Child Protection Unit received some 300 cases of domestic violence against women last year. This, I bet my life, will just be a tip of an iceberg of a much bigger problem. For every case that is reported, thousands are suffering in silence.