As we draw close to the Violence Against Women Awareness Month (VAWAM), we have heard many heart rendering real life stories and experiences and some of the women have been able to come out of the situation and others have been able to arrive at a reconciliation with their partners after an open communication and dialiogue with their partner and his family members. But, there are many a case both in rural and urban India where we still face dowry deaths and killing in the name of so called Honor.
We have also had Eve Teasing & Street Harassment incidents which have resulted in the death of a boy who fought against these elements of violence.
While it is imperative that we use the existing legislations and have the authorities and police play their role in safeguarding the life of a woman and give her the adequate protection, it is important that mindsets are changed among women and men re: treatment of women, treatment of a girl child, saying no to child marriage and child birth and also saying No to Dowry.
I thought I should put together some points together as to how we as a society we can help reduce the Violence Against Women, By no means is this list suppsoed to be exhaustive but I hope it serves as an overall guide.
1. Never be a silent spectator to any incidents of abuse or violence against women. A silent spectator is as good as the oppressor. Bottomline Nip it in The Bud.
2. Assess the situation and call for help so that you and the victim’s life is not in danger, Call for help from a friend or authorities. But in the fearof protecting your life do not run away from the situation and turn abound eye.
3. Volunteer to raise awareness re: Violence Against Women. There are various organizations like Bell Bajao, Prajnya which are organizations that are involved in these Efforts already. They need help and like volunteers in promoting the cause to reduce Violence Against Women.
4. Blogging in India is done by almost everybody.- use blogs, Tweets& Facebook pages to publish information which can help women in situations of violence.
5. Make a note of these Organizations in Various Parts of India whose help you could use to help someone faving domestic violence or any other form of violence
I. 4 Bangalore, #India, Helplines & Support for Women in India facing dowry threats & other violence. Link.
II. #Chennai #India listing of helplines for women in need by @prajnya Link
III. In India, call 1091 for help with Domestic Violence -Women’s Helpline taking care of women & Bell_Bajao & Link
V. Complaints can be made if you see people giving or taking or asking dowry –Link
6. A Women facing domestic abuse and violence should make herself aware abou her Legal Rights – this link thanks to Bell_Bajao – Link
7. If the authorities are not taking interest in filing an FIR or prosecuting an oppressor.. start a petition and get support. Get the help of Twitter & Facebook to get more signatories.
8. It is just not women who can stop violence but the participation of men is essential. Men can stop violence, Men listen to men and men can help survivors. I paste here a link again thanks to Bell Bajao. Link
9. Our education curriculum needs to stress the importance of women and what behavior by men are considered violence. Several times Boys who witness violence while growing up are the most common perpetrator’of violence against women later on in life.
10. Have more number of ladies special compartments in trains and also frequent bus services in remote location which are prone to eve teasing and street harassment.
11. Seek the help of legal counsellers, NGOs and it is imperative that family & society also do not reject a woman who has been raped.
A link to one of the NGOs in Delhi for example thanks to Bell Bajao. Link
12. Use forums like kitty parties or Book clubs, cooking classes to raise awareness re: violence against women.
Violence Against Women can only reduce if each of us work towards stopping women being abused & disrespected. The preference of boys over girls mindset has to change in our society & this is only possible through awareness sessions, implementation of penalties for various forms of violence.
Sexual & emotional are not even considered violence, but they are and we need to make an appeal so that these are considered violence. Research shows physical & verbal abuse are only considered violence. Pls read Link
You, I, Us are responsible to ensure that women are treated with respect & not abused.