November 25th is observed as International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. The day is an initiative of the United Nations General Assembly and is aimed at preventing and eliminating the instances of violence in all forms that women are subjected to around the world.
According to the United Nations, violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations existing in our world. Such forms of violence often go unreported because of the stigma associated with it. The day aims at spreading more awareness about this issue.
Instances of violence against women have increased considerably amid COVID-19 lockdowns. As more people are forced to stay indoors, the women have lost their opportunities to respite in the form of physical distance inserted daily because of work. Lack of work has generated a lot of frustration among many members of the society which has made the women target of their frustrations. This form of rise in domestic violence among COVID-19 Pandemic has been termed as “The Shadow Pandemic” by the United Nations.
In order to combat this, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls is set to focus on amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.
CSR Initiatives for Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women
Stainless Aashiyana by Jindal Stainless Foundation
Jindal Stainless Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Jindal Stainless, and The Women of Elements Trust launched project ‘Stainless Aashiyana’ to help women and children who are victims of domestic violence in the country. The project was launched amid the spike in cases of domestic violence during COVID-19 lockdown. Under this project, a free helpline number – 9310283304 has been set up to offer counsel and suggest legal recourse to callers. Awareness sessions on domestic violence will also be organised in Delhi and Haryana and pro-bono legal support will be provided to people from low-income group.
Project Stainless Aashiyana is a means to provide women and children with a safe space to reach out and share their incidents with counsellors who can empower them. The helpline will not only provide legal counsel to victims but also explain various avenues and recourses available to them for individual cases.
MyAmbar App – CSR initiative by Vodafone Idea Foundation and NASSCOM
Vodafone Idea Foundation, the CSR arm of Vodafone Idea Ltd, in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation, Sayfty Trust, and UN Women has launched a new app for women called ‘MyAmbar’. The app has been designed and developed for the safety and empowerment of women in India under the ‘Connecting for Good’ programme.
MyAmber app aims to help women understand and stand against violence. The app contains a directory of important helpline numbers and service providers across the country. It also provides a step-by-step risk assessment tool to help them self-assess and understand their physical and emotional state along with recommendations for further course of action. The upfront SOS button within the app is meant to help them send their location to their emergency contacts in case of any danger. Survivors and high-risk victims can also log in their complaints and seek help through the app.
The app provides “comprehensive information on various aspects of gender-based violence presented in easy to understand form.” The content within the app is also available in an audio format.
CSR initiative of Verizon India to Strengthen National Domestic Violence Toll-Free Helpline in India
The International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), a pioneering service provider offering specialized support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse, has partnered with Verizon India to strengthen the scope and reach of Dhwani, a national domestic violence toll-free helpline. The hotline, 044-43111143/18001027282, is being run24x7 by volunteers and staff of PCVC, based in Chennai.
Dhwani, meaning voice (for a change)which is fully operational will be providing crisis intervention services to women facing domestic, dating and other forms of interpersonal violence and sexual harassment. Trained counsellors respond to crisis calls and provide immediate emergency interventions including phone counselling, safety planning, connecting with the police, legal and medical referrals, and options for in-person counselling and social worker support for filing cases.
Survivors of intimate partner violence, family violence, sexual harassment and burn violence, their families and caregivers can call these numbers (044-43111143/1800 102 7282)during an emergency. The responders give callers access to immediate and timely help as well as follow-up and referral services that provide information to meet the needs of survivors at various stages of the recovery and rehabilitative process.