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03Nov2015

How To Report Domestic Violence In India: Call These Helplines

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Domestic violence is not just a problem of the lower and middle classes. It is very prevalent even among prominent people. For many it came as no surprise that Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti was involved in a case of domestic violence. The red flags were all there for those who know what to look for.

However, the signs of domestic violence (DV) are not always so obvious and a lot of women don’t report that they’re being abused. Even the woman’s own family is not always supportive at such times, because of the shame and guilt that surrounds such issues. Another concern that women face is how to prove domestic violence in India.

But, there is hope for women. On Sep 4, 2015, a Times of India news report stated that the Bombay high court set aside that part of a state government circular which prohibited counselling and mediation in domestic violence cases without a court order.

What this means is that domestic violence cases can now be resolved out of court, with the help of NGOs, counsellors and police, who will be allowed to counsel a woman “with regard to the course of action which she can take including joint counselling/mediation with her spouse/husband or her family members/in-laws.”

The guidelines further state that a violated woman must be informed about her right to choose her future course of action and that she must be guided with regard to her legal rights under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

Naaree.com caught up with Barkha Bajaj, the Executive Director and Head counselor for Aks Foundation, which deals with domestic violence situations in Pune, to find out the options available to women suffering from domestic violence.

How severe is the problem of domestic violence in India?

It is quite severe – 80% of our calls are of domestic violence. Also, a lot of violence in India is not looked at as violence. As it is a patriarchy a lot of violence against women is expected and accepted.

What has been your experience with women who call in for help with domestic violence situations?

They need support more than anything else. There is a lot of self-blame, confusion, guilt and shame as they love their partners but are also fed up. A lot of them feel helpless and hopeless as they feel stuck in their situations.

How do the Aks Foundation and other organisations go about helping such women? What kind of support can women look to you for?

We provide 24/ 7 support through our crisis lines. Within Pune we also provide legal support and advocacy where our volunteers go with the survivors to the hospital or police station.

One line is dedicated for counseling services. We also liaise with other NGOs or look for lawyers in the city if the call is outside Pune.

What is your advice to women who are suffering from domestic violence and dowry demands? What is the first thing they should do when faced with such a situation?

If they want to leave, the law is strong and they should use legal channels. However, the first thing is to tell someone they can trust and get support. Don’t hide it and suffer alone.

How can women be aware of signs of controlling men and those prone to Domestic Violence? Can we take clues from how his parents treat one another?

Well there are red flags for eg:
– Extreme jealousy
– Isolating behaviors
– Controlling- who she sees, what she wears
– Intimidation and threats
– Emotional manipulation- making you feel guilty all the time

Power and control wheels are available online – which show you strategies used by perpetrators.

(You can download a printable copy of the power and control wheel here to help you understand what you’re going through)

Women often overlook red flags, thinking they can change the man once they are married to him. What would you like to tell such women?

We can only change ourselves and we cannot change someone else unless they want to change. Trying to rescue and change someone is a lost battle.

What change in mindset is required, for women and their families, to avoid getting into a situation involving domestic violence?

Education – gender sensitization, talking about gender in general and gender based violence. This should be part of all school curriculum.

What parting advice would you like to give young unmarried women in India?

Know the signs of power and control. Domestic Violence is about power and control so be aware. Also, if you feel in your gut it’s a bad decision – get counseling. Also, financial independence is important. 🙂

See our related post: Working Women Less Prone To Domestic Violence, Say Legal Experts

For women involved in a situation of Domestic Violence, please contact the helpline of the Aks Foundation in Pune below. They are available 24/7.

  • Domestic Violence Helpline In Pune

Aks Helpline Numbers: 8793088814 to talk to our volunteers anytime.

For legal advice, call: 8793088815

For psychological counselling, call: 8793088816.

The following organisations can be contacted in Delhi:

  • Women’s Organisations In Delhi

Sakshi Violence Intervention Center: (0124) 2562336/ 5018873

Shakti Shalini: 1091/ 1291 (011) 23317004

Shakti Shalini Women’s Shelter: (011) 24373736/ 24373737

SAARTHAK: (011) 26853846/ 26524061

All India Women’s Conference: 10921/ (011) 23389680

JAGORI: (011) 26692700

Joint Women’s Programme (also has branches in Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai: (011) 24619821

  • Dial 1091 for Women’s Helpline in Bangalore/Bengaluru

Vanitha Sahayavani

Toll-Free No: 1091 (24/7)

Local: 080-22943225

Established in 1999 by the Bengaluru City Police, Vanitha Sahayavani provides immediate rescue and support for women in distress.

Accessible through toll-free number 1091, Vanitha Sahayavani provides free tele-counseling, police assistance, crisis intervention, services in case of domestic violence, harassment and abuse. Vanitha Sahayavani operates from the Office of The Commissioner of Police – 24/7.

  • DIAL 1298 for Women’s Helpline in Mumbai

DIAL 1298 Women Helpline, a toll-free women-dedicated service managed by Ziqitza Healthcare in Mumbai has successfully helped more than 38,000 women in distress through its network of 80 partner NGOs.

Launched in 2008 with the support of 10 NGOs, DIAL 1298 Women Helpline offers women across socio-economic strata legal, psychological, psychiatric, trauma, medical and other kinds of counseling through its associations with a variety of women oriented NGOs.

The Helpline addresses a wide range of complaints including dowry harassment, eve teasing, abuse, domestic violence, cyber crime, divorce and maintenance, sexual harassment at workplace, among others.

The helpline was initially launched with the support of 10 NGOs and now works closely with over 80 NGOs in and around Mumbai. DIAL 1298 Women Helpline is a referral helpline service. Any woman who needs help can DIAL 1298 and it will connect to Silver Innings Foundation.

The foundation will refer the caller to an NGO that will either address the issue at hand and provide counseling or negotiate with the family members to resolve the issue. In instances where the woman requires immediate assistance, then the call will be forwarded to 103 Police Helpline.

DIAL 1298 Women Helpline

Tip: If you are facing domestic abuse, DON’T look to take “revenge” on those who are trying to harm you.

It is a futile and endless journey and will leave you and your loved ones much worse off than if you just pick up your things, leave, and focus on building a new life for yourself and your children.

Get a job or build a business, and put all your energies into healing, not into punishing or getting back at your errant spouse. Moving forward and healing your own wounds is the ONLY way to get your life back.

The best “revenge” is to build a successful life without your abuser.

If you’re not yet married or are looking to marry again, read How To Avoid Marrying An Abuser.

If you work with a Domestic Violence Helpline in India, please post your contact information and comments below. We will add it to this post.

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49 thoughts on “How To Report Domestic Violence In India: Call These Helplines

  1. Hi, my name is x ,,
    I have neighbors (tenants) recently shifted from different state and they have a strange behavior at their home ..

    I am not sure but they tend to beat torture someone on daily basis …

    I hear female voice screaming and shouting banging on walls it’s just that I don’t want to get into any kinda problem so I dint report dirctly

    Location is c 508 achal building kalyan complex yari road Andheri West..

    I have reported this to the owner of the house and probably they have given a warning but I am concerned about the person in the house getting tortured

    I really don’t want to disclose my name anywhere if u need anything u can ccontat me on my email I will revert

    If you immediate highlight this would be great help to the person in need …

  2. I am abhinav singla a boy of 17 years. In the past I also tried to do suicide by hanging and drinking poison but unfortunately, I am still alive . My father and my grandfather still torture my mother my sister and me physically and mentally. My father and grandfather both have becomes devil.Many family friends and relatives try to explain them but they did not listen to anyone rather they become more harsh to us.My paternal side is completely standing with my father and grand father.They too torture us. My father had a many bad habits of gambling,betting etc in which he losses near about 50 lakhs. My father also have outside affairs too. I am a +2 commerce student of DAV. They both don’t let my too study and do a lot of torture with three of us.Kindly help us.

    1. Abhinav, We are really sorry to hear about your ordeal, but we cannot help you directly. Instead, we recommend that you contact one of the organisations listed above. They will surely be able to help you.

      1. Sorry, I could not stop from writing this note. I understand if your organization is not equipped to intervene when people ask for help, but this is rather strange to see that you ask them to contact x, y, z if they need help. Someone, writes to you that either they are being abused or they see their neighbor being abused, they provide the address etc, and you still ask those individuals to contact someone else for help. Then how are you being helpful? Please remember that it takes a lot of courage for a lot of them to write what they had written and ask for help. That’s it. They may not seek help or write once again.
        Kindly refrain from giving answers that you cannot intervene. Please tie up with other organizations and you forward the details of persons seeking help if the help they are seeking is beyond your purview. Yes, they have knocked on a wrong door for help, but if you do not do anything, they will not another door once again.
        I hope you give a consideration to my concern.
        Thank you.
        Kvaddiparti

        1. Kvaddiparti, we understand your angst, but we also have certain limitations that make us unable to help directly.

          1. We are a publication, and do not have a helpline or offer legal or psychological counselling services.

          2. We are ill-equipped to understand the legalities or intricacies of the case and do not want to trouble the organisations concerned with cases that do not have merit.

          3. It is ALWAYS better for the person themselves to reach out to the organisations for help as they can explain their case best.

          This is why we have provided the numbers to contact on the page above and urge those facing domestic violence to themselves get in touch with them.

  3. Hi

    I am a victim of domestic violence as my husband is very insecure and blames me for everything has beaten me up also ,once i called 100 helpline too ,but cancelled it as my husband ran away from home ,there was fight everyday for everything,now i am staying with my sisters and i have a 4 years old son ,my husband keeps threatening me that he will commit suicide and kill my son too so that blame can fall on me ,he stalks me when i go to work and still comes and fights in my sisters house ,he does not let me take my stuff from the house ,harassing me very day . Please advise .

  4. Hey, i have a friend but the scenario is bit different, her parents are abusive & want her to marry the boy they select, and she denied, now they are forcing her, & sometimes said that we will kill you, & you are gonna die by our hands if you will not marry, although they are abusive but gave everything whatever needed for her..but now she is scared so is this came under domestic violence, or she can get a help? She is not financial independent.

    1. Yes, Viren. This definitely classifies as emotional abuse, although it’s very hard to report when it’s your own parents who are abusing you. I recommend that your friend call the numbers in the article above for psychological and legal advice.

  5. my sister has gone through a lot of pain and harassment .. her husband doesn’t even work nor he has taken any initiative … he uses drugs and injections .. beats her .. physically abuses her .. we registered a case against him in NCW and after counselling there’s no change in his behaviour .. my sister she is not ready to go and stay with him ,they have a 8 year old son .. she currently stays with us and works .. her husband daily harasses her to come with him abuses her and us too … we are really under threat and we cant go and launch official complaint with the local police station due to social pressure and they are financially strong too… we want to register a case against him for dowry and physical and mental torture and attempt to murder as well .. please help …

  6. Please help me to find the way to get freedom from this violence. Tell me the needful no in gzb whr I can send my details . Plz do answere

  7. Madam,

    Good afternoons,

    My younger sister is in very bad conditions because her husband is badly harassed her on daily basis. She is living in west Bengal, Alipurduar junction.

    Please help me.

    Regards
    Bhanu

      1. Pls help Harry his wife & her family demoralised intimidating isolated and locked Harry in illegal centre for 2 years. Possessed all his family property from the father on her name. She was so demanding wants to live a luxury life can’t track by bus. She came with one suit only when she got married. today father in law can’t talk with his children bcos in Harry’s absence she delivered a daughter on birth certificate Harry’s name father in law is the father and to keep her mouth shut he transferred the family property on her name. Can you help Harry pls to bring justice.

        1. We stay in mohali which no should we call for help.
          In domestic violence even men need help. It is 21century women also speak lies and put blame on others. We can not clap with one hand pls help men too.

  8. Mere sasural se mujhe dhamki wale calls as rahe hai SaaS sasur aur band ke ke pati ko chor do nhi toh goli maar dege mujhe

  9. Respated sir mam
    Mam my sister husband in army there both do love married by now my sister husband use to bet her all the time and he take her phone that see can’t connect us plz mam gave any suggestion how I help her she have one son they live in dehradun.. Plz mam…

  10. I live in joint family….n a housewife ….my father in law is alcoholic n retired….he drinks n abuse by picking fight …..husband is away for job …..they advice that if he is under influence….don’t talk to him ,don’t react blah blah …..Is it really so easy to deal every other day …..we want peaceful atmosphere at home ……..kindly suggest

  11. My name is ann .. this is my boyfriends phone number his account. Sorry but I’ve no account that’s why . I love him his name is James. We have been together for 2 years now we r thinking of marriage. But he has anger issues he is very short temper he always beats me even says dirty words to me. But I hide it from everyone thinking maybe he will change one day he even tried to kill me twice. But I am still with him because I love him and I want to marry him.. but the way he treats me I can’t take it anymore. But I don’t know what to do because even if I leave him I come back again. Is this love? Does he love me? Or am I a fool? Thinking of a happy ending with him?
    Everyone told me to leave him.. my parents. Family. .friends even his dad but I didn’t listen because of our old memories happy ones where there was no violence. .I never cheated on him I didn’t even thought of but he always doubts me ..I’m innocent. . Please help me I’m still crying now because few hours ago he kicked me really hard many times on my back but I’m still quite. Not he got his toe nail broken while kicking me but he is still blaming it all on me.

    1. Dear Ann,

      A man who hits you is NOT a man who loves you. Period.

      Get away from this abuser as soon as possible and start healing from this abuse.

      Get your own life, career and build your self-esteem before you get into another relationship.

  12. i have completed four years of my marriage after completing six months of my marriage my husband started beating and abusing me and my parents, my sister and mother in law is always saying what your father can give to you we have already seen in your marriage every time both the ladies are abusing my parents and me ,if i am informing about all these issues that didi and mummy is abusing me with very bad language then my husband started beating me without understanding the issues.and now they are stopping me for doing work as well i am working but now i had left my job just bcoz of family pressure.what should i do i am not able to understand .

  13. Hi,
    I hear my neighbour abusing his wife and children almost every night(after he gets drunk). Sometimes I can hear he throws things also at them. Although the family seems very normal in the day time, can I help the lady and kids without me being involved formally?? I feel pity for the children as the environment is not good for them.

  14. Hi,
    Can anyone help me to pass helpline number related to domestic violence from Bangalore. Where i can get prompt response?

    Regards

  15. Hi
    I am a mother of 3 month old infant. My husband and in laws start torturing me when I was 7 months pregnant at that time I avoided that and came to my parents place after my delivery.Then my husband changed the rented flat and he is not giving me the address I am asking him for address from past 2 months and he is saying ki I don’t want to live with you. I am unable to understand what to do please help.

    1. Lalita, My question to you is this. Why do you want to go back to an awful human being who:
      – tortures you
      – doesn’t want you back
      – doesn’t care about you, your child or your feelings?

      Really, why? When this man tells you, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t want to be with you, why don’t you get the message and move on?

      Please hire a lawyer and file for divorce from this person. Start a new life on your own and with your child. If your parents can support you for a while, all the better.

      1. I cann’t do this as of now as my all certificates and job related documents are with him I will take this step but before that I want all my documents back.
        How can I get those documents without going there.

        1. Don’t expect to get your property back. It is possible to apply for duplicate copies of all your certificates stating that you lost them. You don’t need to go back there ever.

  16. Respected Sir/Mam

    Mam my sister husband works as a Textile Engineer in Vardhaman Textile at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. They do love marriage and they have two children’s but now my sister husband abusing to my sister and their children’s almost every night after he gets drunk. Many times he beat my sister badly and day by day his nuisance are increasing. Please mam give any suggestion how I help her and give me the helpline number related to domestic violence.

  17. Hi,

    It has been 7 months of my marriage and my husband beats me very badly. I am now not able to tolerate this insult anymore. I don’t have any family support as I married this man out of my own will. Please help me

    1. First please lodge a complaint with the women’s cell of your local police station. Then call one of the helplines above for legal advice. Prepare to leave your home and start out on your own. A man who beats you is not a man who loves you, no matter how he behaves on his good days.

  18. Hi,
    I have filed a DV case against my brother. I lost my dad 2 years back. Form that time I am facing DV. He don’t give me money for my day to day expenses and also for my treatment. I am a patient of osteoporosis. I filed the case one month back​. Today was my statement date it got cancelled. Again I got date after 10 days. This procedure takes too much time. Is there any option to get help at the earliest.

    As I’m unemployed and my dad left huge monthly income.

  19. Hi.
    My marriage is an love marraige bt my mother inlaw doesnt like me she always use to fight wid me on 9july my husband snt me my home n said i vl come n take u home later bt after a week he snt me notice stating for divorce nw thy r nt tlkng wid me n nt even sayng anythg n says v wnt divorce pls suggest me any help as its being just two mnths for my marriage n thy leave me n ask fr divorce pls hlp me n suggest for help in pune.

    Madhu

  20. Hi my friend is married for last 21 years . After 18 years of marriage she gave birth to a child. Her in laws was get upset because of baby’s birth. Her mother in law always tease her . Now they harass her everyday . His husband is God fearing and good by nature. After their baby’s birth her in laws told them to give their office to their younger son . Her brother in law is not a good person. His wife always tease her . Her mother in law and brother in law and his wife use very abusing language and even hit her and her baby many times. Now her father in law threading her everyday that he’ll complain against her . And he’ll lodge a complaint that she is harassing senior citizen. As she is very sincere and honest girl . Please let us know that if her father in law will complain against her than what she’ll does.

  21. My friend’s father in law always threat her that they’ll do complain against her that she is harassing senior citizen.but in real they harass her everyday from last 21 yrs

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