Domestic Violence in India and Important Helplines
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior where a partner is abused in a domestic setting by another partner or his/her family. Abuse may be emotional, economic, verbal, physical or sexual. In most cases, the violence is suffered by a woman by the hands of her partner or his family members.
The reported crime rate of domestic violence in India is 54 per 100,000 in 2015. These reported rates are significantly lesser than those reported in other countries; United States reports 590 per 100,000. Experts believe that this is because less than a tenth of the cases are reported in India.
India has the lowest reported rates because of the associated social stigma.
In the beginning, the woman may feel that the abuse is justified because of her own shortcomings. And very soon she is trapped in an abusive environment, often finding herself adjusting herself to suit her abuser. Breaking out of this vicious cycle is also not a straightforward process. Women are usually afraid to report cases of domestic abuse in fear that their husbands might be arrested, or that a long legal proceeding will ensue bringing public shame and scrutiny.
The social stigma of public dishonor to the family is the biggest reason for a woman to remain trapped in this environment. Women also wouldn't want their children to suffer, because of any legal recourse that may disintegrate her family. Lack of information about remedial actions and the economic dependence on their partners are other big reasons.
The Bell Bajao campaign encouraged the public to react to domestic violence
The famous 'Bell Bajao' or 'ring the bell' campaign encouraged neighbours to stop domestic violence by ringing the doorbell whenever violence was suspected. The problem is that even though we might be starkly aware of a neighbor whose shouts are heard due to pain, we tend to mind our own business and walk away. It’s not that we don’t feel bad; we just believe that someone else will help the individual, someone braver, stronger, and more experienced in handling these kinds of situations.
We at Flutur have compiled a list of 24x7 helplines for reporting domestic violence. If you are the victim or are aware of the crime, you should immediately dial on the relevant helplines. The NGOs serving these helplines have seen a lot of cases and would be able to guide you. There are severe effects of domestic violence on the victim, so do not hesitate to call these domestic violence helplines on any hint of abuse.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has – Margret Mead.
All India (24x7) - Dial 1091. A toll-free number that is answered by women in the police force; provides immediate rescue for distressed women. -AASRA: 022-27546669. It is a crisis intervention center for the lonely, distressed, and suicidal. Their confidential helpline is answered by professionally trained volunteers.
Bengaluru - Bengaluru City Police: 080-22943225. It provides immediate rescue and support for women in distress. Also provides free tele-counseling, police assistance and crisis intervention services. - Ashraya Women’s Centre: +91-8025251929. It provides support, rehabilitation, and counselling coupled with training and legal help for women who’ve faced physical as well as mental abuse.
Delhi - Shakti Shalini: 011-23317004. It provides crisis intervention and counselling. Also operates a women’s shelter, reachable at 011-24373736/ 24373737. - Azad Foundation: 011-40601878. It operates this helpline service for distress and rescue calls. It also provides livelihood training and employment services. - Jagori: 011-26692700. Counselling and support services for emotionally and sexually abused women. - Sakshi: (0124) 2562336/ 5018873. A violence intervention center.
Mumbai -Dial: 1298. The helpline operated by over 80 NGOs in Mumbai.- - SNEHA: +91-9833092463. It provides counselling and moral support for mentally and physically abused women. They also organize regular group sessions to spread awareness in order to prevent further abuse.
Pune - AKS Foundation: +91-8793088814/15/16. It provides aid to victims of domestic abuse.