As ever, Sambha\li SOS HelpLine receives a regular number of calls each month and several cases for our counsellor to help and support. A few of the stories are included below. Please see attached file for the number of cases and those requiring financial help.
S. Domestic Abuse/Violence
M called from Mumbai and said that her sister S, was very upset. She was concerned about her husband who was having a relationship with another woman (who was divorced). When S wanted to discuss this with her husband, he would only abuse her and said he wouldn’t change the situation. S lives in Rajasthan and she returned to her mother’s house with her children. When S arrived in Jodhpur, her husband followed her and fought with her. S wanted the children to study in school but they needed a Transfer Certificate. Disturbed by all this, she asked Sambhali for advice. Our counseller suggested she talk to the school in Rajasthan and discuss with the Principal the situation and to take action to be able to get the Transfer Certificate and if her husband should go again to her home in Jodhpur she could contact the Police and Sambhali Trust.
S. Child marriage
S.’s daughter, J. had an arranged marriage at the age of 7 years, but remained living with her family. No J. has turned 18 years and her husband’s family are pressing her to go and live with them. S. has said she not want her daughter to go there (particularly as her husband died in 2012) and J. doesn’t want to go either. S. came to Sambhali for advice to try and cancel the child marriage and also that she is in poor financial circumstances so she wouldn’t be able to afford a court case.
Sambhali advised S. to write an application by going to the Legal Aid Centre. Our counsellor took S and her daughter to the office of the Legal Services Authority. An application was written by the advocate where the case was filed. A free lawyer was also made available to fight this case of child marriage. We are very hopeful that the marriage will become dissolved.
R. Domestic Abuse
R. came with her landlady who had connections with Sambhali Trust already. R. had been married for 7 years. Her husband used to drink alcohol and not work and when she wanted to discuss anything with him, her would beat her. She left the village and went to live in Jodhpur for 2 years. However, her husband also followed her there and harassed her. In Jodhpur she started to get cleaning work. She tried to stay away from her husband and wanted her children to study. Our counsellor reassured R. that she could continue to lead an independent life through her own work and she would be able to get support for her children’s education through the Sambhali Scholarship Programme. She would also become part of the Sambhali ‘family’ and contact us whenever she needed to for support and guidance.
A. Counselling support
A had an arranged marriage at the age of 7 years (although didn’t live with her prospective husband), but when she was 12 years old, the boy broke off her marriage. Then A became involved in relationship with another boy for 6 years and they got married. Tragically, her new husband died in an accident only one year after they got married. A came to Sambhali to say that now both her mother and brother want her to get married a second time, but A doesn’t want to. Sambhali’s counsellor advised her and gave her some counselling about the past and the present and to think of her future, which helped to settle her mind and move forwards.
U. Verbal Harrassment
U. called from M.P. state to ask for advice about a boy verbally abusing her. She said she is very upset by this and felt the boy was very disturbed. She related that she went to coaching lessons after school, after they had finished and on the way home, this boy would follow her and call her abusive names. Sambhal’s counsellor advised her to tell her mother and that they both should go and visit the boy’s house and talk to his parents. If they didn’t help to change their son’s behaviour, they would go to the police. Our counsellor told her not to panic and that if the boy didn’t believe her, she could go with her mother to the women police station where they can also add the details of this boy’ss motorbike on record. In this way, Sambhali encouraged this girl from her depressed state to find a way to manage this situation, give her moral support and inspire her to continue her studies.
P. Counselling advice
P. has been married for 6 years and has 2 daughters, aged 4 years and 4 months. She came with one of the students who attends one of Sambhali’s empowerment centres. P. was living with her husband and his family but had not been getting on well with her in-laws. Neither her father-in-law nor sister-in-law would provide her with food. She was also fighting with her husband about this matter, which had happened several times. A few days previously after a lot of fighting took place one evening, she was thrown out of the house and according to Muslim rules as her husband shouted ‘Divorce’ three times, she was banished from the household and her marriage considered over. She was now living with her parents.
She came to Sambhali SOS asking for advice and wanted someone to counsel her husband. Sambhali’s counsellor called her husband and asked to meet him at Sambhali’s office, which he did do. They had a good discussion and he related that many of the things that had happened were because of the family feud. Our counsellor explained that P was the mother of his children and that if he banished them all from the house, his daughters’ lives would be very difficult and he should be thinking of them. He said that his father didn’t want P back in the house now she has been harmed by Muslim rules (ie divorced). After much counselling, P’s husband agreed to fetch her after the one month of Ramadan, during which his father did not want her back in the house He confirmed that he would take her home and she would not have to worry any longer. Here, Sambhali encouraged to save a broken family and keep them together.Attachments: