Our Self Help Groups or “Jagruti groups” formed in 2001 were always meant to tackle social issues

and hence the name ‘Jagruti’ or ‘awakening.’

They have become pretty skilled in maintaining their books of accounts, getting linked to banks and even carrying out Income Generation activities. Yet, when it comes to domestic violence meted out to their peers or even themselves, they are often left unarmed to protect and fight back. More so, mere acceptance of violence by the women, makes matters worse. During our initial findings, we had learnt that 93% of the DV survivors have faced violence at least once every quarter. Of these, 38% get beaten at least once in two weeks and for 24% of DV survivors it is almost a daily affair. 10% of these DV Survivors even attempted suicide and had to be hospitalized. These figures shook us and the foundation for our Project Avahan(Against Violence at Home- Act now!) was laid.

The project which started on May 2017  aims at reducing the incidence of domestic violence by 60% in a population of 25,000 residing in 100 villages of Chirang District . But, how do we achieve this? We shall be providing necessary support services (Legal, Emotional, Health, Shelter and Livelihood) to DV survivors and capacitate the women SHG members to take action against domestic violence.  One of the most important components of the project is to sensitize men and boys.  We are also working on activating Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), by training all the duty bearers and sensitizing the police personnel on gender and laws relating to women.

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Number of villages – 100

Number of DV cases handled – 61

 

Sensitization of Police personnel workshops
Sensitization of Police personnel workshops
Poster presentation at bazaars to observe a fortnight of campaign following the ‘International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women’ on Nov 25th each year
Poster presentation at bazaars to observe a fortnight of campaign following the ‘International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women’ on Nov 25th each year

the ant is supported by Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives( APPI) in around 100 villages for a period of 3 years.

Manickpur, a village primarily dominated by Bodo community, had been losing many men to gambling. Women during our training sessions had voiced out that unemployed men lose all their hard-earned money in gambling, which in turn creates a hostile environment at home, eventually leading to domestic violence. Recently the SHG women of this village held a meeting, where they had openly shamed the men involved in gambling. Not stopping with that, some had even marched and pulled down the shutters of a popular gambling house in the village. Women have been successful in creating a stigma around this game so much so that the men now avoid gambling in public out of sheer fear of getting shamed.