The Government implements the Universalisation of Women Helpline (WHL) Scheme since 1st April, 2015 with the aim to provide 24×7 emergency and non-emergency responses, including assistance to women facing any kind of violence and distress, through a toll-free telecom service with short code 181 across the country by referral service. Women helpline is operational in 34 States/ UTs and it has handled more than 68.70 lakh calls since its operationalization.
The Government also implements Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) under Nirbhaya Fund, which is a pan-India, single, internationally recognized number, i.e. 112 based system for various emergencies such as police, fire and ambulance services, with computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress. It has been operationalized in 35 States/ UTs.
Further to protect women from any kind of violence including domestic violence, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has launched Helpline number(s) for reporting of domestic violence incidence during the year 2020-21. One of such helpline number is 7827170170 to provide 24×7 online support to women in distress through referral by linking them with Police, Hospitals, District Legal Services Authority, psychological counsellors etc. The portal is driven by Interactive Voice Response (IVR) mechanism through Digital India in collaboration with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Further, to assist the women facing domestic violence during the pandemic when the survivors were confined at homes with their abusers, a WhatsApp number 7217735372 was also launched as emergency response during lockdown. In matters which require urgent intervention, the State Police authorities were also approached through telephone calls/ email for providing immediate assistance to these women. A total of 1430 complaints were reported during the period of its functioning (10th April, 2020 to 16th September, 2020).
This information was given by the Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
Ministry of Women and Child Development Press Release 25 March 2022