The Problem

Violence against women and girls affects 1 in 3 women globally. Women living in informal urban settlements are particularly vulnerable to violence.

  • 37% of ever-married women in India have reported partner violence.
  • 2% of women who have reported violence in India sought institutional help
  • 16% of never-married women in India have reported partner violence

Women and girls face physical, sexual and emotional violence in both private and public spaces. But violence is often considered a taboo topic and is rarely spoken about or reported. Public systems, such as health providers and the police, tend to be the first point of help, but are not always equipped to deal with cases of gender-based violence.

How can we equip societies and public institutions to effectively prevent and address gender-based violence?

We run programme to prevent and address violence at four levels of society. We embodies gender-transformative change, rights and women-centred intervention.

One to One

We assist one to one on a case-by-case basis through our patna center and public hospitals women’s outpatient departments. These centres provide immediate and long-term counselling for survivors of violence and facilitate access to medical, legal and police services.

Society

We work to empower societies to support individuals in cases of violence. Our community-based women volunteers monitor the safety of women and children in their area, provide emotional support and connect women to crisis intervention services.

Institutions

We train and sensitize police, staff of municipal hospitals and legal aid lawyers to deal more effectively with cases of violence.

Public law

We advocate for public laws that can enhance institutional response to domestic violence. This includes effective implementation of the Protection for Women against Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and Protection of Children against Sexual Offences, 2012.

What is Child Sexual Abuse?

Child sexual abuse is the use of a child for sexual gratification by an older or more powerful person. The offender is usually an adult, but could also be a more powerful child. Both girls and boys are vulnerable. It is a crime punishable by law.

Types of Abuse

Child sexual abuse includes the following ‘touching’ and ‘non-touching’ behaviours, but are not limited only to these acts.

Touching behaviours

  • Rubbing genitals against a child's body
  • Fondling a child's body for sexual pleasure
  • Kissing a child with sexual undertones/inclination
  • Sexually touching a child's body, and specifically private parts (breasts and genitals). Includes encouraging or forcing a child to do likewise.
  • Making a child touch someone else's genitals, or playing sexual (``pants-down``) games
  • Encouraging or forcing a child to masturbate, with the child as either a participant or observer
  • Encouraging or forcing a child to perform oral sex (mouth-to-genital contact on or by the child)
  • Inserting objects or body parts (like fingers, tongue or penis) inside the vagina, mouth, or anus of a child; includes attempts of these acts

Non-touching behaviours

  • Encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts either in person or lowering the bars of privacy
  • Looking at a child sexually
  • Exposing one's private body parts to a child (exhibitionism)
  • Watching a child in a state of nudity, such as while undressing, using the bathroom, with or without the child's knowledge (voyeurism)
  • Making suggestive comments to the child that are sexual in nature
  • Commenting on the sexual development of a child
  • Encouraging or forcing a child to read/watch pornography, giving pornographic material or using the child in pornography
  • Making, viewing or downloading sexual images of children on the Internet

Warning Signs

Childrens’ facial expression often tell the story.There may be many reasons for changes in their behaviour, but if we discern a combination of worrying signs it may be time to call for help or advice.

Non-touching behaviours

  • Behavioral warning signs
  • Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
  • Nightmares, sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
  • Becoming unusually secretive
  • Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure
  • Regressing to younger behaviours, e.g. bedwetting
  • Unaccountable fear of particular places or people
  • Outburst of anger
  • Changes in eating habits
  • New adult words for body parts and no obvious source
  • Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts
  • Self-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities)
  • Physical signs, such as unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy
  • Running away
  • Not wanting to be alone with a particular child or young person or adult

Physical warning signs

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare; however, if you see these signs, take your child to a doctor. Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and can test for sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Pain, swelling, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  • Discomfort when walking
  • Bruises on the body
  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

What to Do in Cases of Sexual Assault on Children

If you or a child you know has been sexually abused or assaulted, you are entitled to legal rights safeguarded in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The Act provides a child-friendly system for the trial of these offences.

Communicate with your child

  • Believe the child!
  • Behave normally and make the child feel comfortable.
  • Communicate to the child that it is not his/her fault.
  • Inform the child that you will not divulge what they have shared with you in confidence.
  • Inform your child that you might need to take action against the perpetrator, so as to ensure the child's safety.
  • If the child reports the incident to you immediately, do not change the child’s clothes or give him/her a bath. This is important to follow so as to preserve any evidence.

Get help

  • Prepare the child for proceedings that might follow, such as a visit to the doctor or hospital for medical aid or an examination; visits from the police; sessions with a counsellor.
  • Take the child to the nearest hospital for a medical check-up and treatment.
  • Alert the nearest police station to the incident or the abuse. You need to register a complaint at the police station closest to where the child lives. After the complaint is filed, the police will take the child’s statement at the child’s home or in any place where the child feels safe. Even if the incident(s) has taken place more than 24 hours before you find out about it, you can still take legal action.
  • Take the child to a professional counsellor for help.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence includes any type of physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse. It can be perpetrated by your partner, any family member (natal or matrimonial), or a combination thereof.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the most recognisable form of abuse. Perpetrators often use physical force, their body or other objects to injure the girl or woman. It does not always leave visible marks or scars. Do not underestimate or ignore what is happening to you, because, over time, the violence usually gets worse.

  1. Your partner / other family members tie you up, burn you, set fire to you, pull your hair, bang your head against a surface, throw things at you, or inflict cuts on you.
  2. Your partner / other family members lock you in the house.
  3. Your partner / other family members lock you out of the house during an argument.
  4. Your partner / other family members prevent you from going out of the house on your own.

Emotional Abuse

Many women experience domestic violence without ever being physically abused. If you change or adjust your behaviour because you are frightened of how your partner/ other family members will react, you are being abused. Emotional abuse is an attack on your personality rather than your body.

  1. Your partner and / or other family members cause you to fear them.
  2. Your partner and / or other family members cause you to change your behaviour to avoid triggering an attack.
  3. Your partner and / or other family members isolate you and cut you off from family and friends.
  4. Your partner / other family members have threatened to hurt you or people close to you.
  5. Your partner / other family members threaten to harm or kill the children, or threaten to kidnap or get custody of the children.
  6. Your partner / other family members use abusive language when talking to you, humiliate or insult you, call you names or make fun of you in a way that is designed to hurt you.
  7. Your partner / other family members dictate how you should dress and look.
  8. Your partner / other family members constantly criticise you, say you are useless and cannot cope without them.
  9. Your partner / other family members continuously doubt you and constantly suspect you of having affairs or being unfaithful.
  10. Your partner is jealous, possessive and over-protective.

Sexual Abuse

Your partner should not use force or threaten you to have sex. He should not make you perform sexual acts that make you uncomfortable. He should not criticise your performance. If he does any of the above, he is using sex to assert his authority and control over you.

  1. Your partner has forced sexual intercourse with you.
  2. Your partner forces you to engage in sexual acts that you are not comfortable with.
  3. Your partner deprives you of sexual relations.
  4. Your partner or family member(s) forces you to have sexual relationships with other people.

Financial Abuse

One of the most powerful ways a man can control his partner is through financial abuse. There are many di?erent forms of financial abuse, but it might include things like your partner taking your money, stopping you from working or placing all the bills or debts in your name. If you feel that your partner is limiting your financial independence, you are experiencing financial abuse.

  1. Your partner / other family members control your money.
  2. Your partner / other family members ask you for a paise-wise account of your expenses.
  3. Your partner / other family members deprive you of money or do not give you enough money.
  4. Your partner / other family members prevent you from taking up a job.
  5. Your partner / other family members have taken away your gold and/or other gifts that you may have received prior to or during your marriage.

What are Rape and Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault involves a perpetrator coercing or physically forcing a sexual act or non-consensual touching. Rape falls under sexual assault and includes acts like the penetration of a penis, any object or any part of the body to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of another person; or making another person do so. Any sexual activity, irrespective of consent with a girl or a boy below the age of 18, constitutes statutory rape.

Conserve evidence

It is important to preserve the evidence, so go to the nearest hospital for a medical check-up immediately. Do not have a shower or change any of your clothes, not even your sanitary napkin. It is advised that you go directly to the hospital, without urinating or brushing your teeth.

Report the crime

You have a choice not to report the crime, but if you want justice and the offender to be punished, you have to act fast.

See a medical representative

A registered doctor at a private hospital is bound by law to treat you and collect the evidence, so you do not need to go only to a public hospital.

Register a complaint

You can go to a public hospital right after the incident to have the police record your statement and take the evidence. You can also register your complaint at the nearest police station. They will record all the information of the incident and send you for a medical examination.

If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, you are entitled to legal rights protected in the The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. This Act recognises certain additional acts as offences and has expanded the definition of rape to include acts beyond vaginal penetration. Lack of physical resistance is immaterial for constituting an offence. The law states that a woman’s consent must be unequivocally communicated for it to not constitute rape.

RECENT TESTIMONIALS

Our on-ground community centres aim to develop models for integrated health service delivery in urban informal settlements. We engage closely at the local level to make sure that women and children have access to quality health services.

CONCLUSION

Happiness the importance and resolution of life, the whole purpose and end of life. Our organisations appeals to the general public to help these needy people in every manner they can for the betterment of these people.These people really need our help and your valuable contributions so that we can help them in building a healthy and happy future for themselves.

 Cody Whitehair Jersey