BHUMIKA Women's Collective, India – Support Centre for women in distress

Legal counselling helps women and couples to exit the cycle of violence. © BHUMIKA Women's CollectiveLegal counselling helps women and couples to exit the cycle of violence. Photo: © BHUMIKA Women's Collective

Project area: Hyderabad, Telangana state, South India

Supported by TDF since: 2016

Target group: Girls and women threatened or affected by by domestic and sexualized violence

Background:

Background:

  • Over the past decade, Indian women have increasingly been raising their voices against violence and patrilocal family organization, putting the issues of public and private security of women further into the spotlight of nationwide debates.
  • At the same time, only 11,6 percent of the seats in the Indian parliament are held by women. Merely 39 percent of women (compared to 63,5 percent of men) have completed a secondary level of education (Gender Inequality Index, UNDP 2018).
  • Whether a woman can live in freedom, highly depends on her religion, caste, class, education and social environment. Rural women are still mostly cut off from emancipatory movements in larger cities.
  • As a result of a 2018 survey, the Thomson Reuter Foundation identified India as the most dangerous country for women in the world. Shockingly, India even outran Afghanistan and Syria who occupy rank 2 and 3.
  • According to the most recent nationwide survey of the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, every third woman between the ages of 15 und 49 has experienced domestic violence.
  • TDF’s partner organization BHUMIKA Women’s Collective works in Hyderabad which is the second most dangerous city in India for women according to data provided by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2016.
  • Of the 138 complaints received by the National Commission for Women in 2017, 91 (more than 65 percent) came from the city of Hyderabad.
  • Due to the poor implementation of the laws on the protection of women against violence, support structures for women in distress are still missing

Project activities:

BHUMIKA Women’s Collective advocates the establishment and improvement of comprehensive psychological and legal support systems for girls and women threatened or affected by violence. Other important aspects of their work are prevention of violence and political lobbying.

  • Support Centres for Women and Children in police stations of districts with high prevalence of violence against women offer legal and psychological advice in Hyderabad and Karimnagar. Since 2017, TDF helps to finance one Support Centre in Karimnagar.
  • Long-term assistance in serious cases of violence: BHUMIKA Women’s Collective accompanies affected women to hospital, helps to arrange psychotherapeutic treatment, seeks dialogue with their families and assists in the application for state funds
  • Workshops for government officials, police officers, lawyers and judges sensitize for women’s rights and the problem of gender-specific violence.
  • Staff trainings in hospitals and Support Centres assure high-quality assistance for affected women and eradicate structures of re-victimization.
  • 24/7 Tele-helpline for women in distress
  • Political lobbying to enforce better legal protection for girls and women.

Impact

  • Between 2010 and 2018, around 1,000 government officials participated in the workshops offered in Telangana state and approximately 1.300 women sought advice in the Support Centres.
  • Between 2006 and 2014, the tele-helpline received 52.000 calls, with up to 20 calls a day. TDF supported the helpline until 2017 when BHUMIKA Women’s Collective managed to successfully raise funds from an Indian agency, assuring the long-term sustainability of the helpline.
  • Since June 2017, TDF helps to finance the Support Centre in Karimnagar. During the first six months of 2019, 193 women sought help there. 345 individual counselling sessions, 214 couple sessions and 382 family sessions were held during this time. Since November 2018, TDF further helps financing the Support Centre in Hyderabad although – needs-based - only for the duration of one year.  

Project manager: Kondaveeti Satyavati

Contacts: Voluntary project coordinator Patricia Maag (indien@frauenrechte.de)
or TERRE DES FEMMES – department for International Cooperation (iz@frauenrechte.de)

Your support is needed for:

  • the services offered by the Support Centre for Women and Children in Karimnagar.
  • sensitization workshops and trainings on gender-specific violence.
  • individual assistance in serious cases.
  • public awareness raising activities regarding the prevention of violence and critical reflection on discriminative gender role models at schools and other educational institutions.

Support BHUMIKA Women's Collective with a one-time donation or contribute regularly and become a sponsor!

You can also donate to the following account, using the keyword “India” as a reference for your payment:

TERRE DES FEMMES e.V.
EthikBank
IBAN DE35 8309 4495 0103 1160 00
BIC GENODEF1ETK

 

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