Lahore (PR) - The PTI Women Wings Punjab chapter has strongly condemned the Punjab governments decision to close Women Crisis Centres. At a Chapter meeting, President Syeda Saloni Bokhari, General Secretary Shamsa Ali, and Information Secretary Talath Naqvi demanded that the Government give recognition to the WCCs. The PTI woman leaders along with the like-minded political parties and the civil and women rights organizations shall start an advocacy campaign, which aims at saving the WCCs which were established to help women victims of violence. The leaders revealed that more than 8,500 women become victims of violence each year and these centres play a key role to rehabilitate them and to provide security to them. Secondly, they demanded that funds be allocated to these centres from the amount of Rs 13 billion granted in the Punjab budget for women empowerment. Thirdly, they said that Darul Aman could not be considered the substitute of these crisis centres because the nature of work of both institutions was different and the crisis centres should have their own identity. The Crisis Centres are the only service providers for violence against women, a very small initiative of the government. However these centres are like a breathing space for the women. After the devolution plan under the 18thAmendment these centres have come under the provincial governments. There are about 25 Crisis centres in the country and 12 of them are in Punjab. It is to be noted that in Punjab violence against women has a very high ratio. The scope and services provided by these centres are: Free Legal Aid, Temporary/permanent shelter under Darul Amman and other shelter homes, Free Medical Aid, Social Counselling, Psychological counseling, establishing linkages with law enforcing agencies/police complaints cells, telephone help lines etc. The Punjab Government, said the woman leaders, has wasted billions of rupees on frivolous ventures like the mechanical Tandoors and Sasti Roti Scheme and Danish schools, Ashiana etc.; on the other hand the Punjab Government has stopped funds for women crisis centres that were necessary for rehabilitation of female victims of violence. PTI demands that the government should appoint separate women SHOs in each police station to deal with women and link them directly with the Women Crisis Centres. They appealed that amount allocated for the womenfolk in the recent budget must be used for these centres and the budgetary allocations for education and health sectors should be used separately for health and education projects focusing on women. The Women Crisis Centres were providing services to 12 districts of the Punjab, benefiting some 14,429 women victims.