Protection Officers and Service Providers


An officer appointed by the State Government under sub-section (1) of section 8 will be known as the Protection Officer. While acting or purporting to act in pursuance of any provisions of this act or any rules or orders made under it, the PO’s are deemed to be public servants within Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The duties and functions of a Protection Officer are as follows-

  • To assist the Magistrate in the discharge of his functions
  • To maintain a list of all service providers providing legal aid or counselling, shelter homes and medical facilities.
  • To make available a safe shelter home, if the aggrieved person so requires
  • To ensure that the aggrieved is provided legal aid and make available the prescribed form in which a complaint is to be made free of cost
  • To make application, if the aggrieved so desires, claiming relief for issuance of a protection order
  • To make a DIR to the Magistrate upon receipt of a complaint and forward copies to local police officer and service providers
  • To get the aggrieved medically examined and forward a copy of the medical report to the police station and Magistrate under whose jurisdiction the case lies
  • To ensure that the order for monetary relief is complied with and executed

Qualifications of PO:

  • The State Government shall, by notification, appoint such number of Protection Officers in each district as it may consider necessary and shall also notify the area or areas within which a Protection Officer shall exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred on him by or under this Act.
  • The Protection Officers shall as far as possible be women and shall possess such qualifications and experience as may be prescribed.
  • The terms and conditions of service of the Protection Officer and the other officers subordinate to him shall be such as may be prescribed.


PWDVA, 2005 provides women multiple platforms and avenues to access their rights and Service providers are one such forum. Service providers are an important component of the multi-agency response mechanism setup under PWDVA. The SPs serve as a bridge between the aggrieved person and the PO’s, the courts, the police and any other services an aggrieved person may need. The SP’s provide the aggrieved access to specific services like legal aid, counselling, livelihood support, shelter, medical facilities, etc.

Duties/ Functions:

  • Record the DIR and forward a copy thereof to the Magistrate and PO having jurisdiction in the area
  • Get the aggrieved medically examined and forward a copy of the medical report to the concerned PO and police station
  • Ensure the aggrieved is provided shelter in a shelter home if required

Shelter Houses

If one does not feel safe in the shared household, the law provides for temporary accommodation in shelter houses both during the time of intervention and afterwards. The law also provides for the women’s right to reside in the matrimonial or shared household, whether or not she has any title or rights in the household. If one applies for a Residence Order, the court can decide to evict the abuser from the shared household even if it is under his possession.

Download the PDF for No. of POs and SPs in states & UTs