Month: February 2017

THE AUTO-CORRECT TRUTH OF WOMAN’S IDENTITY.

The woman looks sad, however, the most interesting part of this poster is that the Google search is covering the woman’s mouth. This could imply a number of things, , it is saying that her voice is not as important as others in society – in this case males. Her opinion does not matter, she needs to be put in her place and controlled. A way of doing this is to take away her voice. She has no say in the matter. She is silenced.

In most parts of the world today, Google is an essential part of web surfing. Many have wondered what the ‘magic’ behind search suggestions is – who or what generates them? Well the truth is: we all are. It’s a reflection of our society. Just ‘Google’ the word ‘women’; you may be surprised at what you see…

Atrocities on women in India: ‘It’s not just a gender problem ( Questionnaire )

INDIA-RAPE-COURT

‘Indian students of Saint Joseph Degree college participate in an anti-rape protest in Hyderabad on September 13, 2013’

In the backdrop of the numerous reported cases of rapes, gang rapes and widely visible discrimination against women in India, the German author, artist and social worker Dr. Katharina Poggendorf-Kakar spoke about the India-specific form of such violent acts. Dr. Poggendorff has lived in India since 2003 and travelled extensively through India to understand the basis of such atrocities on women but where’s the answer we need?

•Why do you think Indian women become the target of so many violent atrocities?

•Do you think the ancient Indian cultural notions are also to be blamed for it?

Culture has such an impact on who we are. what would help is elimination of the cast systems and that will take generations. But that is one of the core problems of suppressions, not just of women but also men, but especially poor women. So at the moment, it doesn’t matter who you marry and which cast you belong to. There will be a huge change for Indian society and especially for women of lower casts and lower classes.”

It’s not just a gender problem. A high cast woman is more powerful than a low cast man. So it’s more complex and my interest is to show that complexity, to also differentiate all these issues. It’s not just men who suppress women; it’s also elder women who suppress women.

•How important it is for women to achieve economic self dependence? What could save them from violence and discrimination?

“Education and thus the possibility to earn (something for her life – ed) are tremendously important factors for women to live a more individualistic life according to their own kind of rules. That’s true worldwide in a way. So, it’s extremely important to involve women not only in economy but also in politics, in power structures where their decision making has an impact on the communities that involve women. So, politics and economics are the core questions of change. But within Indian culture cast is also the major player.”

THE LAWS ON YOUR SIDE.

BATCH POOR, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HELPING MEASURES.

Domestic violence victim

Domestic violence affects all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims of domestic violence.

Our state’s Domestic Violence Act was enacted to protect a broad range of domestic violence victims. It states that any action that intentionally causes bodily injury or places a person in fear of imminent bodily harm constitutes domestic violence. Domestic violence can mean physical abuse — pushing, slapping, hitting or choking. But it also includes such things as:

-Emotional abuse: Name-calling, playing mind games, put-downs.
Threats: Can be of physical or emotional harm to yourself, children and pets.
-Intimidation: Using looks, smashing things, loud voices or actions to put you in fear of what might happen.
-Isolation: Controlling where you go, what you do, who you see; driving away friends and family.
-Sexual abuse: Forcing you to do sexual acts against your will, physically attacking sexual parts of the body.
-Economic abuse: Controlling how the money is spent, preventing you from having any access to money, taking your paycheck away.
-Using the children: Making you feel guilty about your children, using custody or visitation to harass you, threatening to take your children away.

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You can get a domestic violence restraining order if you have been physically or emotionally abused and if you have a domestic relationship with that person. This could apply to a spouse, a dating relationship, a live-in companion, or someone that you have been previously married to, used to date or used to live with. It can also be a relative, family member, roommate or an in-law.

If you feel that you have been the victim of domestic violence a complaint should be filed alleging specific facts of your situation and your relationship to the alleged abuser. A court may then issue an ex parte protective order to signify that a hearing was held in which one of the parties was not present. Under such an order, you can be given temporary possession of your home, personal property, temporary custody of children and pets and household possessions. It also notifies your abuser that he or she may be ordered to stay away from your place of residence, job site, childcare facilities or the school your children attend.

A return hearing is held within 10 days in which you will again testify to the specific facts of the domestic violence you are experiencing.

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 11.35.33 PM.pngYour alleged abuser may also testify, along with any witnesses to your domestic situation. If, after hearing testimony from the parties and witnesses, the court finds that an act or acts of domestic violence have occurred, the court will issue a permanent protective order, typically effective for one year.  The order informs your abuser to stop the abuse immediately or face serious consequences which can include jail time.

Prior to termination of the protective order, you may apply to the court for its renewal.  Orders can be renewed for up to two years at a time, and there are no limits on the number of times an order can be renewed if there are valid grounds for renewal.

The court system can be scary and confusing, let us help guide you step by step through the process of obtaining a domestic violence protection order.

MALE DOMINANCE

Man and woman represent two forms of divine energy; they are the male and female elements of a single soul.

After thousands of years of male dominance, we now stand at the beginning of the feminine era, when women will rise to their appropriate prominence, and the entire world will recognize the harmony between man and woman.

CONTEMPORARY society is just beginning to delve into the true distinctions between men and women. Besides the obvious physiological differences, there are also differences in the way men and women think, speak, and behave.

Men are physically stronger. By nature, they are usually more aggressive and externally oriented. In contrast, a woman usually embodies the ideal of inner dignity. Some people confuse such subtlety with weakness; in truth, it is stronger than the most aggressive physical force imaginable. True human dignity does not shout; it is a strong, steady voice that speaks from within. The nature of a woman, while subtle, is not weak. And the nature of a man, while aggressive, is not brutish. For man and woman to be complete, they must each possess both energies.

The answer is not for men and women to try to be alike. All men and women must be themselves, realizing that G-d has given each of us unique abilities with which to pursue our goals, and that our primary responsibility is to take full advantage of those abilities.

ACTION 

Men and women must realize their respective equal roles and strive to complement each other in their shared struggle to improve life. In order to correct the abuse of male dominance, men must concentrate on using their dominant qualities for the good. They must use their strength to protect and preserve the feminine character, helping women realize their true potential in revealing  Guidelines, which the world so desperately needs today.

India Needs to Seriously Address its Acid Attack Problem.

As is often the case with crimes against women, acid attacks are treated with official apathy and societal indifference.

The rising number of acid attack cases, from 83 in 2011 to 349 in 2015, shows India’s inability to grapple with this heinous crime. Cases continue unabated in various parts of the country, showing the pan-Indian character of this form of assault. Over the last few months, cases of acid violence have been reported from Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Assam and Delhi, underlining the fact that little has been done to regulate the availability of acid, despite the Supreme Court directive three years ago.

India has the highest number of acid attacks in the world, but the worst conviction rates. As is often the case with other crimes against women, acid attacks are treated with official apathy and societal indifference. The victims are usually women between the ages of 14 and 35 years, and the attack often occurs as revenge for rejecting a marriage proposal or sexual advances, showing the peculiar mindset of male entitlement and power, and no right for a woman to refuse. Women have had acid thrown at them for not bringing enough dowry, for bearing a female child and for not cooking a good enough meal.

Acid attack survivors undergo immense daily trauma – they are blinded, scarred beyond recognition, robbed of their identity, often unable to step out of the house, seek employment or lead a normal life ever again. But, it was only in 2013, after the Jyoti Singh gangrape and murder case, that India officially acknowledged its seriousness by introducing separate sections in the India Penal Code – 326A and 326B – to deal with acid attackers, making the offence non bailable and specifying a minimum of ten years to life imprisonment.

Shockingly, many cases go unreported, especially if a family member is the attacker. Megha Mishra, manager of the North India of the Acid Survivors Foundation India, has seen cases where survivors continue to stay with the attacker, if a family member, for they have nowhere else to go. Maimed and blinded, the women find it difficult to get jobs and are unable to support themselves. These cases reflect the utter callousness of the systems of governance and justice, and reflect very poorly on us as a society.

By law, acid in India now can only be sold by licensed shops. The shopkeeper is required to maintain a record of the quantity sold and to whom. These details have to be then submitted to the local police within three days of the transaction. All stocks have to be declared with the sub-divisional magistrate. Undeclared stocks can be confiscated and a maximum of Rs 50,000 levied as fine. This, of course, is rarely done. Most of the establishments that use acid are in the unorganised sector. As acid is used right from toilet cleaning, to jewellery making and in battery shops, car and auto service garages, it continues to be easily available. Only a cup of acid is sufficient to disfigure a person and put her through unimaginable misery.

FINDING SOLUTIONS

So how can we fight this crime? We can learn from Bangladesh, which had an extremely high number of cases and has been able to combat the problem to a great extent. First, an acid attack case in the country has to be tried speedily. Investigations must be completed within 30 days. If the investigating officer needs more time, she or he has to inform the court and only two extensions of 15 days are given. If the officer fails to complete the investigations, or is found to be corrupt, she or he is liable for punishment. The case has to be decided within 90 days. Second, Bangladesh has severe punishments for the crime – upto capital punishment. Third, unlicensed production, import, transportation, storage, sale and use of acid can attract a jail term from three to ten years. The stringent laws and their implementation have seen the number of attacks fall from 500 during 2002 to 71 in 2012.

The good news is that of late, courts in India have started to give enhanced punishments in older cases where judgments were pending. The Nalanda district court, the Chengalpattu district and sessions court, the Bombay high court and the Delhi high court recently increased the punishment to ten years or life where the survivor had been blinded or had died. The cases are over ten years old, the Nalanda case was over 27 years old and the judgements are being pronounced now!

The Supreme Court has directed all public and private hospitals to provide first aid treatment free of cost to the survivor. As Alok Dixit of the Stop Acid Attacks campaign pointed out, it is difficult for a person in a village or a town to access a hospital with a burns ward. Such hospitals are only in big cities. The survivor, therefore, rarely gets immediate medical attention which can reduce disfigurement, pain and suffering greatly. While some hospitals are providing the initial treatment free, the woman may need to stay on for weeks or months, and hospitals are reluctant to keep her that long. Survivors are supposed to get about Rs 3 lakh as compensation from the state. But this amount is not enough as the cost of reconstructive surgeries often runs over Rs 30 lakh. A woman who has had acid thrown on her face may need 40 to 50 reconstructive surgeries if not more. States need to set up mechanisms and funds to provide for these surgeries as well as cover the victim’s travel costs to hospitals that provide them.

Then there is the issue of education and employment. Girls are forced to drop out of school and women are unable to carry on with their jobs because of disfigurement and loss of sight. They need to be trained for suitable jobs through which they can support themselves. No importance has been given to this and the victim is left to fend for herself.

India has acknowledged the cancer of acid attacks by framing suitable laws. But clearly these laws need better implementation, as do efforts to put survivors on the road to rehabilitation.

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SOS WOMEN’S HELPLINE

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Women’s Helpline (All India) 1091 / 1090
National Commission for Women (NCW) 0111-23219750
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) 011 23378044/ 23378317/ 23370597
Outer Delhi Helpline 011-27034873, 27034874
Women in Distress 1091
Police Control Room 100
Child Helpline 1098
Anti Stalking/Obscene calls 1096
Child,Student & Senior Citizen 1291
DCP SN Mosobi, North East Special Unit 9818099070
IGP – Robin Hibu, Nodal Officer for Northeasterners (Whatsapp no) – 9810083486