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
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.
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
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
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
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.