State with almost three crores of women population, it is pathetic to note that Andhra Pradesh occupies top third place in national crime report pertaining to crimes against women. It is highly alarming that cases pertaining to dowry deaths, harassment for additional dowry, sexual harassment, misuse of latest technology and scientific developments by way of Amino synthesis tests for foetal sex determination (which in most cases leads to female foetocide), suspicion against character, selling female babies, physical molestation, eve –teasing, kidnapping and trafficking and many more such cases.The declaration of International women’s year in 1975 and the follow up of international women decade inspired the hither to not so much organized women’s agitation and women’s activist to figure in a uniform and more systematic way for the cause of women. Andhra Pradesh women also were inspired to strengthen their figure disparity and injustice. The dowry death committee in 1980s has been a milestone in the crusade commencing with agitation concerning the loopholes in law, dowry harassments , dowry deaths, equal pay for
equal work, price raise, equal job opportunities, issues concerning single women and many other such crucial question , the A.P women progressed in raising and dermitoring her voice with Indian women against Gender discrimination. In the process, the women activists could pave way for the emerging of many women centered NGOs which advocated for the cause of women by way of counseling training, capacity - building, net working, research, documentation, women’s studies etc.
Crimes against women are on the rise in Andhra Pradesh . and the increase in cases of harassments and outraging of modesty has reached serious proportions. As per records pertaining to crime against women, the rate of crime has increased. Chattisgarh , Mandhya Pradesh , and Andhra Pradesh are the top three states in the order of national crime rate at 38.4, 24.6 and 24.5 respectively. The overall figures reveal that the states share in the total number of crimes against women is 11.6 percent and is now positioned at number 3 after Uttar Pradesh (11.7%) and Madhya Pradesh (11.6).
• Dowry kills 16 women everyday (National branch of Investigation) almost 2000 suicide deaths are reported every year as a consequence of dowry ( NBI)• Female infanticide is a direct consequence of dowry the latest census data shows that the sex ratio in India has fallen from 945 (1991) to 927(2001) per 1000 males.• Domestic violence is on the rise• Crime against women traditionally includes rape, kidnapping and abduction, dowry death, torture, molestation, sexual harassment, importation of girls, like most offences, crime against women is steadily on the rise in India. Of the total crimes reported in the country 7% constitute crimes against women.
The above figures show the miserable condition of a vast majority of Indian women. The pain, the anguish and the desperation that millions of women have been carrying in their heads in the country.
The picture in Andhra Pradesh is also the same. Crimes against women are on the rise in Andhra Pradesh. Murders, deaths, rapes, abductions of women are on the rise. As many as 98 cases of dowry related dowry deaths, 953 rape and 892 abduction cases were reported. Many more cases relating to such crimes go unnoticed as many victims hesitate to lodge complaints and a culture of silence often shrouds violence, which women suffer.
Domestic violence is violence that occurs with in the private sphere and it is nearly always a gender specific crime, perpetuated against women.
In the above mentioned circumstances we want to start a help line to provide services to women in distress and victims of violence.
Our objectivesMain objectives• Empowering women with information regarding legal, medical assistance etc.• To rebuild violated women’s self esteem, self worth and dignity• Offer immediate services in cases of family violence and atrocities in the forms of: Placement in institutions or referring to family service agencies/ hospitals/ police stations /family courts etc. Counseling Referral to other services including medical psychiatric, educational and vocational Legal AidBe a liaison between police and organization for women and childrenCreate awareness against Gender discrimination, women rights etc by framing and distribution brochures, pamphlets, handouts, posters etc.Document the work of the Helpline
Our MissionOur focus is on Gender equality and Rights of women advocating a life of dignity and justice for female world.
Our activitiesCase handling in the main activity of our Helpline. Counselors make efforts to sort out problems reported by the complainant. The Helpline comprises of coordinator and counselors understanding that every problem is different: hence each problem is handled catering to the need of the particular case and situation. Our counselors try to solve the cases and guide the survivors to police station/ hospitals/courts/ psychiatrists – as per the necessity enabling the women to fight for justice.
Collecting and Maintaining Information:In order to guide the women who approaches with their problems, the Helpline needs to be equipped with all relevant information. Women suffering from any form of violence, discrimation, harassment do nor know what to do and where to go . The Helpline provides information on infrastructures (both Governmental and non- Governmental) available to help them in seeking redressal. In formation regarding women police stations, women protection centers, family courts, legal assistance, NGOs involved in combating violence against women, NGOs providing medical Aid and health awareness, Shelter Homes, Legal Services Authority, National Commission for Women, State women Commission will be readily provided to survivors.
Networking and Linking with other organizations:Networking will help building services create awareness, campaign on the issue, follow up for effective enforcement of the existing laws, reforms in laws and create support for women survivors. Bhumika interacts with several women’s groups state wide in pursuing the cause of women. So the already existing network in carrying forward the mission of the Helpline.
Risk Management:The Helpline is a part of Bhumika Women’s Collective, which is a Registered Body. It has the backing of the women’s intelligentsia, who has been crusading for social justice for women since decades.
Management:The staff of the Helpline comprises one Coordinator, two Professional Counselors and One office assistant. The Head coordinator the entire functioning of the Helpline and the two professional counselors maintain the organization by providing advice, counseling and information. Helpline works in two shifts (8am –2pm and 2pm –8pm), enabling easy approach for the clients.The Helpline will be established in prime locality in the twin cities, where commuting will be or considerable case for the clients