Seeking help is not easy. Victims of domestic or sexual violence are often incapable of asking and looking for help. If they do find the courage to do so, they don’t always actually get the help they need in time. If you are in an abusive relationship, the cycles of violence, the humiliation, the daily emotional and physical violence you face are not only confusing and traumatizing, but they’re normalized and even trivialized. Therefore, the first step to getting help is realizing you need help, and that’s much harder than one might think. Many women have suffered such violence over long periods of time, which was inflicted by different people in their lives, leading to their self esteem being beaten down so low that they don’t even identify the violence as such, or as being abnormal.
Therefore, being aware on what is abuse, emotional and physical violence, what are your rights under the law, and which institutions and organizations you can turn to if you need them, is primordial. Whether or not you are a victim, you may know one, and if you are confronted with an act of domestic or sexual violence you should be able to access information quickly and easily, and suggest resources.
There are some options!
1st the PWDVA website does just that! Under the ‘Get Help’ section you can find the different resources available for victims/survivors of Domestic Violence or Sexual Violence in New Delhi. CSR India and the PWDVA Advocacy group know how domestic violence impacts many aspects of victims’ lives and the different types of help victims need. Therefore it compiled a list of organizations offering Legal Help over the phone and in person, the helplines set up by the Police with the address and contacts of special women and children cells etc., the different Hospitals available with special services for emergency medical attention, and Shelter Homes for short term shelter for women and girls. Names, contact numbers, and addresses are all on the website, along with other useful information such as details about the PWDVA, the law and the advocacy group etc.
These are vital information for any victim who feels helpless and alone. Help is out there.
There is also a surge in the use of technology and innovation to help victims and facilitate their access to resources. Apps are the new thing, and I’m excited to say app developers haven’t forgotten about victims of domestic violence and sexual violence. Here are some really cool apps you can download to access resources, get help, or report violence, or simply provide support. Check them out!
- #SoSec is CSR India’s new Welfare Scheme mobile App. It’s easy, this app compiles all the welfare schemes the Indian government offers to women and girls (and trans* people) throughout their life cycle, for residents of Delhi and the NCR region. Not only does it inform you of the schemes you are entitled to, but it also helps you through the application process. It gives up-to-date information about these schemes, which is often difficult to obtain, especially for social workers and community workers who need current and easily accessible information to figure out what girls and women are entitled to. The options available include schemes for skill building, financial aid, access to education etc., if you are entitled to them, and what you need in order to apply.
- Saath (meaning “together”) is a web application built to provide women in India with information and emotional support during the after effects of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. The web app provides (1) the phone number and address of the nearest NGO support centers (2) information about sexual assault and domestic violence (3) and an anonymous multi-member messenger app that connects a woman with other victims of sexual assault/domestic violence on the webpage. By connecting these women, they can provide one another with needed support, and help them see that they are not alone: they are in this together.
- EyeWatch is a mobile-based platform that allows the community workers, known locally as sanginis, to take audio and visual clips if they witness an incident. Once the app is activated and an alert has been raised, a call goes through to an SNEHA employee who can offer assistance. Although SNEHA volunteers have been fighting domestic violence in the slums of Mumbai armed with their mobile phone and this app, anybody can get it, register an act of violence and get connected with their “Call Guardians” Reporting is the stepping-stone to prevention.
- CommCare is specifically targeted to nurses by helping them identify clinical signs of domestic violence among their patients. The health staff will inform vulnerable populations of their rights, choices and available support services. Nurses and auxiliary nurse midwives in nine hospitals run by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will now use this USAID funded mobile app to identify and extend support to victims of domestic violence.
CSR India is also working towards designing a new app, which will compile all the information victims need in order to get appropriate help in Delhi. They’ll be able to get in touch with the right organization directly on their phone.
So on your mark, get set, download!
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