This article is part of a special series: Safety of women in Indian cities
In 2018 alone, there were 53 dowry deaths in Bengaluru, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Bengaluru was also the metro with the highest number of dowry deaths in south India that year, and the city where the highest number of dowry harassment cases were filed.
If you suffer dowry harassment, sexual abuse, or other forms of violence within or outside your home, what options do you have? There are many helplines in Bengaluru that offer services like shelter, counselling, legal support, help securing employment etc to women in distress.
Following are some of them.
Vanitha Sahayavani: Call 100, 080-22943225, 080-22943224
Established in 1999, Vanitha Sahayavani is the first community collaboration initiative by the Bengaluru City Police (BCP). The initiative is supported by Parihar, a charitable institution under the initiative of BCP. Parihar’s team of professional counsellors, trained volunteers and police staff provides immediate rescue and support to women in distress.
The helpline offers:
- free tele-counselling
- police assistance/intervention when necessary
- crisis intervention
- rescue in case of domestic violence, harassment or abuse
The helplines attends to various issues – social, economic, psychological, physical violence — that women face at home, workplace or in public.
Tara Women’s Centre: Call 080-25251929
Tara is a residential centre in Indiranagar, run by the NGO Ashraya. It gives shelter to women survivors of sexual violence, abandonment, domestic and social abuse. The average rehabilitation period or stay is two years. The centre offers services like:
- counselling to rebuild self-confidence
- skill-based training
- job placement to enable economic independence
Nava Karnataka Mahila Rakshana Vedike: Call 9490135167
Nava Karnataka Mahila Rakshana Vedike promotes socio-economic welfare activities among women. The Vedike offers help through investigation and assessment in case of dowry harassment, along with aid in registering a case if necessary. It offers:
- free legal advice and aid
- police assistance in cases of domestic violence
- psychiatric counselling
- shelter for women rendered homeless due to domestic discord and violence
Abhayashrama: Call 080-22220834, 080-22121131
Realising the need for a movement to eradicate vices against women in India, a group of social reformers had started the Association for Social Health in India (ASHI) in 1926. Abhayashrama is the Karnataka branch of ASHI, which is also its first residential unit; it was started in 1935.
- shelter and protection
- medical aid
- vocational training
- rehabilitation to women and children
Vimochana: Call 080- 25492781 / 82 / 83
Through Angala crisis intervention centre, Vimochana offers moral, social and legal support to women who are victims of violence and abuse both within marriage and outside. The focus of the helpline is to help women to heal within, and help her with immediate needs – medical, social or legal. Initiated in 1993, Vimochana
- helps women get a job
- helps find shelter
- gives counselling
- visits homes after compromise
- provides medical treatment
Koramangala: 080-25701974, 9535492211, 9902027936
Jayamahal: 080-23553555, 97331396362
Ambedkar Road: 080-22262444, 9535435511, 9731396362
With three different helplines for women, the NGO Janodaya, through its Santhwana programme, gives a platform for victims of social/domestic violence to negotiate with the accused parties for mutual settlement of disputes and to resolve issues without approaching courts. Advocates assist counsellors to give:
- legal literacy to victims
- do documentation of the settlement agreement between the parties
- maintain records, and even submit the same to courts to be considered for judgment and closing of the case where relevant
SICHREM: Call 080-25473922, 080-25492856
The South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM) has dedicated legal professionals who listen to people’s grievances and advise them of the measures to be taken to get legal remedy. In some cases, people with problems are called into the office, and a lawyer along with counsellors hold discussions and study the case in detail. The helpline currently functions from Monday to Friday between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm.
Samaja Seva Samithi: Call 080-26600022 / 9448945367
A state-level voluntary organisation, the Samaja Seva Samithi was established in 1994 to empower women and senior citizens. Through two of their programmes – Rudrakasha Counseling Centre and Tavaru Mane – the Samithi provides:
- matrimonial counselling
- assistance in solving family issues
- help for sexual harassment victims
Through the Tavaru Mane programme, the organisation offers:
- shelter for women who are in distress
- empowerment of women through employment