Violence against women is an enduring problem in India. 70% of women are victims of domestic violence. In 2013, reported rapes rose 35% to 33,707. A great number of rape cases go unreported, and marital rape is not a criminal offence in India. In addition to this, Honour killings, female infanticide, and acid attacks are all significant problems in India today. Dalit (low-caste) and Adivasi (tribal) women are particularly at risk from violence, because of their low economic and social status.
This project helps train and network 12 grassroots organisations working across 5 states to work on these issues. These organisations are already working on various issues with women. This project allows these organisations to come together and run 'violence against women' awareness campaigns in their regions. It provides extra resources and training for banners, posters, street plays, workshops, camps, and other activities to empower vulnerable women to stand up to violence.
In the long-term, Karuna's partner organisations are working to empower women and change attitudes in wider society. We have already seen reduced violence against women in some of the villages and slums we have been working in for more than 2 years. This results not only in reduced violence, but also a general increase in the value of women in society as indicated by increased enrolment of girls in school, women able to leave the house and find work, and some even running for village parliament.