May 24, 2021

Project Update

We are seeing an increase in calls and cases during January to March 2021, due to our press release and through our leaflet campaigns in Jodhpur where we were distributing leaflets to inform people about Sambhali’s project, our free counselling services and legal help. We have included doing workshops on mental health and legal aid in our Empowerment Centres and provided “door-step” counselling sessions in our centres and boarding homes.

However, currently, Rajasthan has been in another strict lockdown since 10 May due to extend to 21 June 2021 and all our centres are now temporarily closed until restrictions are lifted. Sambhali’s efforts at present are concerned with providing food rations to those in need both in Jodhpur and the rural Thar desert area of Rajasthan, as well as providing a telephone counselling service, through our SOS telephone helpline.

Counselling and legal aid are still being provided to the sufferers of domestic abuse and both telephone and video counselling are now being used as a means of support.

Here are some examples of cases from January –March 2021:

 

Case Story 1

Name: J 

Age: 37

Gender: Female 

Education: Class 5th

Children: 3

Occupation: Learning Sewing at Empowerment Centre. 

Husband's Occupation: Driver 

Issue: Domestic Violence 

 

Detail of the case 

J is living in Jodhpur with her husband and children.  Her husband is dependent on alcohol which is causing fights at home. 

The main cause of all the issues is finances, as the family are not able to manage all the household expenses, like food, school fees of the children and rent of the house. J is anxious about her husband's consumption of alcohol with the respect of the current situation. Due to the pandemic the work has not been on a regular basis and this has caused a financial crisis in the family. She is working at her landlord's so that she can pay the rent of the house.As they have not received any support from the family in this situation she is feeling helpless and unable to deal with the situation. She joined one of Sambhali’s empowerment centre for sewing and started her own stitching work at home because her husband is against working for other organisations. 

They had not registered themselves in the government's scheme for rations and other benefits for Below Poverty Line and they had found it very difficult to manage the daily expenditure for basic necessities. 

Intervention 

In this case the main cause of the issue was finances so the counsellor decided to connect with the government's scheme to apply for benefits.  J was also counselled about the situation and how to react and respond to this. The counsellor discussed the deaddiction for her husband and how she can help with that. She was asked to call her husband for counselling so that they could discuss the issues together. According to J, the husband was very reluctant to take help from other people but she was assured that they could achieve good results by doing this.

J’s husband was then assessed and taken on as a case in his own right for alcohol dependency and depression. J’s husband was hesitant at first to speak about his emotions, but said that he felt helpless to not be able to look after the family. He agreed to take help and the counsellor advised a visit to a psychiatrist at the local hospital who has experience in dealing with alcoholism and provide any necessary medication.

The counsellor decided that J’s husband required medical help, the family needed financial support through government schemes and also counselling. The Sambhali counsellor connected the family with ration schemes and scholarships for their children and books. She also made appointments for regular counselling sessions.

Because of the pandemic the government was unable to help with putting her name on a ration card register, but she can be helped with a labour card which can provide the scholarship to the children and medical facilities at low cost or for free. This case is still in process and Sambhali Trust is working with the local administration to provide food rations to those in need as well as working on a longer term strategy of providing government help.

 

Case Story 2

Name: P

Gender: Female

Issue: Rape of Minor

P arrived at the Sambhali Office with 2 relatives and 4 daughters. Sambhali’s counsellor was told that P herself had been a victim of domestic violence and also that her daughter S, who was 15 years old had been raped. An FIR (First Information Report) had been lodged and a statement had been recorded by S whilst in hospital for the magistrate.  Unfortunately P only realised the situation after her daughter was 5-6 months pregnant and she became unwell resulting in baby being delivered prematurely which died the following day. Following the statements, there are 2 suspects who are being investigated. The situation is very complex and regular follow-ups have been necessary with the police authorities and an application made for a speedy trial. 

P, as a survivor of domestic violence for a long time in her marriage, was also in need of rehabilitation. She had attempted suicide twice in her life. She received short-term refuge in Sambhali Trust She received short-term refuge for 2 weeks with her family, but then returned home leaving 15 year old,  S in Sambhali’s care and provided with in-house education through the boarding homes as part of her rehabilitation.

 

Case Story 3

Name: D

Age: 14 years

Issue: Rape and Kidnap of minor

An FIR (police complaint) was lodged by D’s father. D is a 14 year old girl from a minority caste family. Two men approached D on a motorcycle and offered her chocolates and invited her to go with them to go and buy her some new clothes. At that point they snatched her and carried her on the motorbike to a dwelling where one of them raped her whilst the other tried to stop her screaming. In D’s father relating the story it was found that this perpetrator had also raped a young woman who was his own neighbour in the same way. Following the rape, D and her father have both been threatened to be killed by the perpetrator several times.

Sambhali Trust has assisted with lodging a petition which has been filed in the High Court for fair and impartial investigation into this current matter to enable justice to prevail and prevent these perpetrators repeating these horrific offences.

 

Case Story 4

Name: G

Age: 41 years

Children: 2

Issue: Domestic Violence

G and her husband have been married since 2002 and have 2 children, 11 and 18 years old.  G is earning an income herself through selling items online and her husband has a job in a newspaper agency. Currently G is living with her mother following abuse at home.  G is complaining that her husband is verbally and mentally harassing her and she claimed that she has always been suffering in this marriage and that now she is tired of all the sufferings and adjustment and now she wants security for her kids and maintenance from her husband as she claimed that her husband has been negligent towards her and her children’s wellbeing.

Intervention

The cycle of abuse was made understood to G by Sambhali’s counsellor to which she confirmed that she has been going through the same. The types of domestic violence were explained as well. Her legal rights as a mother and wife were also explained to her and she wants to file a case against her husband for maintenance and protection from her husband. She claimed that she fears from her husband that he will try to harm her. Besides her husband, her in-laws have also been abusive towards her. A case under domestic violence and for maintenance was filed by March. Her children are currently living with her. She is staying with her mother for a certaintime.

She has been hesitant in filing a case against her husband at first and was worried if it is going to be time-consuming. Once the procedures were explained to her, she was then willing to file a case against her husband to get maintenance for herself and her children and protection from her husband. Counselling sessions were taken where she still complained about her situation that there has been no relief. I asked her to accompany her husband for a couple counselling sessions to see if the situation could be repaired.

G’s husband was called to discuss the matters put by her. G’s husband also had many issues to discuss and so after hearing both of them individually, both were asked to sit together for a week approximately for 2 to 3 hours daily to have counselling sessions to discuss how these issues could be resolved. . After a lot of issues being aired in these discussions, the couple were made to understand the importance of each other, keeping their growing children in view.  They explained the importance of both the parents individually in their children’s life along with the financial constraints for their well-being. They were counselled on matters of respect for their spouse in front of family members. The in-person counselling sessions ended with a happy note with both of them agreeing to conditions of each other and constant follow-ups were done through telephone calls so as to keep the things normal.

 We thank you for all your support in helping these women  to receive counselling and support to enable them to have better lives. 

Links:


Attachments:
Jan 11, 2021

Project Update

Nirbhaya/SOS Project

Since October 2020, this project has been expanded because of the need of more professional help during the pandemic for those suffering from domestic abuse.  Sambhali Trust has hired a legal adviser and a psychologist who have been working on creating community links in Jodhpur with the local authorities – the police and local hospitals. They hope to have more liaison and referrals directed through to Sambhali Trust so that individuals can receive the advice they require.  Consequently, we have been able to provide counselling sessions, and follow-ups to victims of domestic abuse and other issues as well as having legal advice on site immediately.

We have also been creating information leaflets regarding the HelpLine and prevention of domestic abuse which are being distributed in various areas of Jodhpur every month. We have held a press conference, and been in the local newspapers to try and advertise how we are able to help. We are providing workshops on legal, mental health and medical issues to the women in our empowerment centres – and when pandemic restrictions allow we will take these workshops out to community venues in an effort to help eliminate violence towards women in Jodhpur.

This is the beginnings of a more focused project which we hope will make a difference to the women in Jodhpur over the coming months/years.

 

Case Story 1

Name: BJ

Age: 34 years old

Issue: Husband alcoholic and domestic violence

Family: 3 young children

Case Status: On-going since October 2020. Legal Assistance and counselling provided

Details: Domestic violence and alcohol addiction by husband

Husband works in stitching, embroidery works and B’s earning is co-related to the work received by her husband. Husband is currently going through addiction to alcohol and wife claims that he only abuses her when he is drunk otherwise he behaves calmly. Addiction has also affected their livelihood as husband is not in the condition to function normally after drinking. They have 3 young children whose education has also been affected as she is unable to pay their fees. She has studied till 10th grade and knows stitching and embroidery work well. She has been doing this work for 2 years regularly.

Issues:

Physical and verbal abuse by husband only after drinking.

Financial abuse: She claims that he doesn't provide sufficient money to even buy clothes and other miscellaneous things for herself. Utility Bills and children's school fees are also due.

Mental harassment: Her husband threatened to kill himself when she tried to stop him drinking. He had also suffered from fracture in hand in 2018 due to an attempt to suicide.

BJ was explained about the patterns, cycle of domestic abuse and her legal remedies available to her. As her husband is suffering from alcohol addiction and BJ does not want to take any legal action, we decided to have couple counselling sessions with them. Her husband started socially drinking 20 years ago which exacerbated after the death of his father 7 years ago when he found the responsibility of looking after his family and finances too much to handle. The psychologist has been liaising with a local major hospital to work on his rehabilitation and also referred to a psychiatrist, which the couple have accepted. After couples’ counselling for one month they reported no violence at home and no consumption of alcohol. Her husband is starting to focus more on his work. He is  continuing to see the psychiatrist at the hospital and is receiving regular follow-up appointments at Sambhali’s office.

 

Case Story 2

Name: DP

Age: 25 years old

Issue: Domestic violence by husband and in-laws.

Case Status: On-going. Legal assistance given

Background of the case:

D attacked by her husband with a brick; fortunately the brick did not hit her and she ran to a nearby place to save herself from any further physical assault. She later called our Helpline number and asked us to call the police station due to insufficient amount of balance in her phone.  We made a call to the women police helpline number and immediately a lady constable had reached to the place from where D had called earlier. She was asked by the lady constable if she wants to register a police complaint but she refused to do so as she was hesitant in doing so. D was made an appointment with the counsellor at Sambhali and reached Sambhali office for counselling session where she described that she has been a victim of domestic violence from more than a decade now. She has been married to her husband since 14 years. She is living with her children and husband in separate house but near to the in-laws. She claimed that her husband is an alcoholic and forcefully takes money from bank account by taking her fingerprint/signature. If she resists he beats her. She claimed that her in laws also abuse her and her family members. She has 3 children. She complained that she is being frequently beaten up and she feels humiliated in front of her children and facing the people of society. On her behalf our legal advisor visited to police station with her, written and submitted an FIR complaint to stop physical abuse against her and have also talked to the police authorities to properly assist her.

                      

 Case Story 3

Name:  MP   

Age: 26 years old

Issue: Domestic Violence

Case Status: On-going Legal Advice given

Background of the case: MP was thrown out of her house late at night. She left home with her children and went to stay with her mother. She has been financially abused and has also been a victim of physical and verbal abuse. She is working as a maid and she claimed that her husband has been taking out her salary from her bank account by taking her fingerprints forcefully. She does not want to live with her husband anymore and is willing to take divorce from her husband and live separately with her 2 children. She has filed a police complaint in her local Police Station. She has an ongoing case regarding domestic violence and she wants to finally take divorce now.

 

Case Story 4

 Name: TJ

Age: 30 years old

Issue: Domestic violence by husband and mother-in-law

Case Status: On-going Legal Advice given and counselling provided

Background of the case: T was found sitting on the roadside, during the leaflet distribution campaign by our Sambhali Team and she was provided with the leaflet advertising the Nirbhaya HelpLine regarding assistance with domestic abuse. She is uneducated but could understand the phone number mentioned and hence she had called at the toll-free helpline number. After receiving the call she was immediately requested to reach Sambhali office. During the counselling session she revealed that her husband has been earning irregular income due to epidemic as the offices are not open regularly. She also claimed that he is also addicted to smack and other such drugs after which he becomes violent and abuses her. Her mother in law is working and is the only breadwinner of the house. She has been bearing expenses of all the family member. T claimed that her mother in law is also abusive sometimes and it has become difficult to live in such environment. She claimed that this has not been the first time when she had been thrown out of the house. She fears that if she will file a police complaint then her husband/mother in law might disown her. After her legal rights were explained to her she felt relieved. We talked to her mother in law on call and requested her to meet us at the office. T was asked  to return back to her home and we assured her that she will not be thrown out of her home again. In case if the situation repeats she was asked to call us. Next counselling session with her mother in law and her is awaited. Husband is jobless and addicted to alcohol.

 

 


Attachments:
Sep 8, 2020

Project Update

SOS Update  September 2020

Apologies for the late update! Sambhali has been very involved during the height of the pandemic in feeding nearly 550 families in the rural desert area of Setrawa 100km west of Jodhpur. These families had no income after their jobs had been suspended during lockdown and they were mostly labourers in the quarries.

Sambhali’s projects have all been closed since the end of March, but over the last 2 months we have re-opened our main Office, re-structured our staff and implemented a staff computer training programme as well as arranging for staff to improve their English. On the Sewing side, we have been producing 5000 masks for the local authorities and are now starting to resume orders and work on a collection of new ideas ready for Xmas.

The pandemic whilst contained, has not subsided in India and in Jodhpur the numbers of incidences are still on the increase. Whilst the authorities are managing it by having different zones and a good contact and trace system, and continuing their progress after Lockdown ended at the end of May, this is governed by a series of Unlockdowns, which means an easing of restrictions, albeit whilst the numbers are increasing. However, schools and colleges have not resumed yet, whilst people returned to work back in June.

We have been able to continue operating an SOS service through our counsellors on the phone, but direct contact in many cases through transport issues and advice has needed to be solely given on the phone. We realise that the HelpLine is ever as important at this time, which is why we are grateful for your support.

 

Case Story 1

A woman called D from Jodhpur called, crying on the phone saying that her husband and father-in-law were ill-treating her and her husband has been beating her and not allowing her to return to her parents’ home. She explained that she found out that he had already been married to another woman and had children with her who were already 20 years old. She tried to deal with it in her own way and now just wanted to leave the house, but was unable to.  Our counsellor then spoke to her father on the phone, who was also very upset and asked us for help and said that S had nearly been killed that morning and her condition is getting worse.

We called the police and together went to D’s house and as we arrived at the gate, she ran out of the house, shivering with fear and holding her new-born. She said she didn’t want to stay there. We went to the police station where the police called her father to come and pick her up and we handed her over to her father. Two days later the father rang to say that her condition is improving and she is now talking. We are thankful that S and her new baby are now living in the safe environment of her father’s house.

 

Case Story 2

We received a call from Agolai stating that a girl had been raped and murdered. The girl had been brought to her house and they were told that she had been suffering from stomach ache. The person on the phone said that all the women in the village think that she had not been treated right and asked if we knew what to do because she had already been buried. We told them to go to the police station and file a report on her, saying that they felt something had happened to her prior to being brought to the village and buried. So they went to the police station who ordered a post-mortem on the girl. So we are able to help with the start of justice being implemented on this poor girl and any further criminal investigations.

Links:


Attachments:
 
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