Domestic Violence During Lockdown: What Can We Do?

12 August 2020 / By Social Media

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical or psychological, and it can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. It may include behaviors meant to scare, physically harm, or control a partner. And while every relationship is different, domestic violence typically involves an unequal power dynamic in which one partner tries to assert control over the other in a variety of ways. It can include insults, threats, emotional abuse, and sexual coercion. Victims of domestic violence often experience anxiety, diminished self-worth, depression, and a sense of helplessness that can take time to overcome and often requires professional help.

Due to the fast spread of the virus, infecting millions of people all around the world, the governments sought for lockdowns as a necessary step to control it’s spread. However, this confinement has fostered a lot of tension and strain in a few family environments. This created a chance of increasing isolation of victims of domestic violence, typically women, having violent partners or family members separate from people and resources that can help them. Thereby increasing this kind of violence. In regards to this, domestic violence helplines, shelters as well as NGOs have been working actively to accommodate and help those who are subjected to this kind of violence.

Now the question arises as to how we can take measures to stop such kind of abuse. There are several helplines, NGOs and organizations working towards aiding victims of DV. Several non-governmental organizations have been operating helplines—some of them functional for 24 hours—since the lockdown began, to offer support.

The National Commission for Women has launched a WhatsApp helpline number – 7217735372 – in addition to the online complaint links and emails which are already operational.

Victims of abuse can also reach out to 1091 – a dedicated nationwide helpline for women in any kind of distress. The governments of Uttar Pradesh (112) and Kerala ( 9400080292) have also launched dedicated helplines for women who are subjected to domestic violence.

Several NGOs have also been running successfully for this cause.

ActionAid India is part of a global federation and a full affiliate of ActionAid International. Gauravi is the 24×7 one-stop crisis center of ActionAid. The center caters to domestic and sexual violence victims of any age and gender. The victims are provided with counseling, intervention, legal help, medical help, shelter home as well as social rehabilitation. Victims are not forced to take legal action and are provided with all the options. They provide counseling and also run a shelter home for women. ActionAid India extends throughout many parts of India. To reach out, contact: +91 80 25586293.

Azad Foundation is an NGO particularly for women who continue in abusive relationships because of their financial dependence on their husbands. The New Delhi-based organization trains women in professions traditionally closed to them and help them achieve financial independence. Women undergo a half-year training course, which includes topics such as self-defense, women’s rights, sexuality, and reproductive rights, effective communication, grooming, and most importantly, driving, which will become their future vocation. The organization’s sister concern, Sakha Consulting Wings, employs these women as cab drivers and thereby, safe chauffeur and car hire services to their female clients. Set up in May 2008, the foundation has expanded its reach and opened offices in Jaipur, Indore, and Kolkata.
To reach out, contact:

Tel: +91 11 4060 1878
Email: azadfoundation@gmail.com
Website: http://www.azadfoundation.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AZAD-FOUNDATION/150560224895

SNEHA is a non-profit organization that works with women, children, and public health and safety systems. Our innovative work in urban informal settlements aims to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, child malnutrition, and gender-based violence. SNEHA provides a set of services from immediate relief which includes shelter, emotional support, and assistance in contacting police or doctors to long term services such as legal counseling, individual/family counseling, psychiatric and psychotherapeutic services.
Contact to: Crisis Helpline: 98330 52684 / 91675 35765

One-stop crisis center at Kem Hospital: 022-24100511

Guria India is a Varanasi based women’s NGO whose approach is to focus on rescue and legal intervention. Due to the stigma surrounding sexual assault, it helps the victim with all the necessities to fight their case starting from filing an FIR to helping them collect evidence. Guria lawyers help prepare the victims for the court. Not only does the NGO help women get legal justice, but they also provide counseling and provide victims with financial support. To contact, reach out to via phone or mobile to +91-542-2504253/ +91-542-2504253

Maitri is a New Delhi-based developmental humanitarian NGO that is committed to facilitating every individual’s Human Rights, especially the Rights to Identity, Dignity, and Respect. Since 2005, Maitri has worked with over 45,000 individuals on the issues of social and health inequities and public health concerns through education, community outreach, networking, and legal advocacy. Maitri's work is organized under two main pillars: Violence Against Women and Migrant Workers. The organization has been addressing the issue of violence against women (especially in the uniformed forces), running victim support and victim to survivor program, and promoting dignity and support for abandoned elderly widows in Vrindavan (Mathura, India). To contact, call +91 11 24122692 or drop an email to maitri.india@maitri.org.in.

International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care was set up in response to the need for a support agency for victims and survivors of domestic violence. Based in Chennai, this NGO for women provides several necessary services like crisis management, legal advocacy, support, and resource services. PCVC started the national domestic violence hotline to help women who are struggling with different forms of abuse. To contact reach out to their helpline services listed below:
24 hrs Helpline No: 044 – 43111143
24 hrs Toll-free Helpline No: 1800 102 7282
You can also drop a message on their Whatsapp No: 9840888882
Or, drop an Email to dvsupport@pcvconline.org

Sakhya Women’s Guidance Cell is a Mumbai based NGO whose aim is to promote gender equality and gender justice through women empowerment. They hope to give women more autonomy through sensitization and spreading awareness. The organization offers victims of sexual abuse case counseling, referrals, legal aid, shelter, rehabilitation, and accompany them to hospitals and legal institutes. To reach out, contact:
Phone: +91 9890 312 402
Email: sakhya_87@rediffmail.com

While it requires tremendous courage to take a step towards raising your voice against domestic violence, as a mental health organization we believe every human has a right to safety. We encourage you or those in contact with victims of such abuse, to reach out to these helpline numbers and the NGOs to help you better.


REFERENCES

  1. Coronavirus Lockdown Helpline Numbers For Domestic Violence Abuse Victims. Retrieved from:  https://www.thequint.com/neon/gender/coronavirus-lockdown-helpline-numbers-for-domestic-abuse-victims
  2. Maitri India. Retrieved from:https://maitriindia.org/who-we-are/
  3. Nair S., (2016). Organizations that women can count on during tough times. Retrieved from: https://yourstory.com/2016/04/women-helpline-india
  4. Sneha NGO. Retrieved from: https://snehamumbai.org/contact-us/
  5. R., Devyani (2019). 10 NGOs helping women to fight for their rights in India. Retrieved from: https://blog.giveindia.org/women/10-ngos-for-women-you-should-support-for-women-rights/
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