Standing up Against Domestic Violence
Violence against women is among the most universal and pervasive human rights violations, affecting at a least a billion women across the globe. Recent estimates suggest that approximately 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from their partners. It has become an integral dimension of women’s lives across India, Muslim women are doubly burdened by the custom of ‘triple talaq’ that their personal law allows. Women who are deserted, separated and leading single lives emerge as the poorest and mostvulnerable. This is the context in which MahilaSamajikNyayManch (MSNM) has made bold to take on the most complicated issue of violence and vulnerabilities in women’s lives.
Leadership-led, the 15 women leaders of MSNM (formed in March,2014) that consists of 11 Muslims and 4 Hindu women leaders from the districts of Aravalli and Sabarkantha have made asocial departure with their resolve to stay domestic violence, andmost importantly address the complex issue of ‘triple talaq’ that hasbeen besieging women. Reportedly, 20 percent of women in thesedistricts are made single because of ‘triple talaq’. Some of the leaders of MSNM have themselves been victims of violence; come under social criticism and even harassed for the work they are doing.
While making a living through self-employment in tailoring, embroidery and petty vending, the members of MSNM have been giving their voluntary time, taking turns to be in their small rented office premises to attend to cases of violence. While dwelling on theirown experiences in domestic violence, many of the articulations of cases of women in violence that come to MSNM are heartrending statements of the violence that women are subjected to.
Against the growing incidence of triple talaqs, MSNM has begun to advocate that Muslim women should be brought under Uniform Civil Code that protects the divorced women with maintenance. There is much debate within MSNM that time has come for them to have a dialogue with the Maulvis of several sects of Muslims on the proliferation of triple talaq culture.
Incubated by HIDRCunit of Janvikas, MSNM has established linkages with the local Gender Resource Centre of the Ministry of Justice; interfaces with CSJ’s local unit for support and learnt to file FIRs in the police stations as well as provide support to women survivors of domestic violence with support of police. HIDRC continues to provide support for their capacity building support on documentation, writing applications, complaints, records keeping as well as advocacy with local government and leadership building.
25 cases of domestic violence reported. Out of which 18 addressed, rest forwarded to Gender Resource Center.
Rs. 10,170/- mobilised from the community.
Organised gender sensitization workshops in schools as well as mall awareness campaigns.
Initiatives undertaken to address issues of communal violence by providing support to conflict displaced families.
Garnered support form Aravalli District Police Department to solve cases of domestic violence.