Know your legal rights, women told

Know your legal rights, women told

 Francina has been married for eight years. Having been a victim of domestic violence, this mother of an eight-year-old, is now trying to mend relationship with her husband, who is settled abroad after deserting her.

Her story is among hundreds of cases of domestic violence where the woman is left to fend for the child. Caught between the urge to break free from abusive marriages and the fear of their children’s future, women like Francina suffer constant trauma.

“Our crisis lies in the fact that we do not get timely and appropriate legal advice. This makes us stuck in the abusive situation for years together with no hope,” said Francina. She was among the women who attended the public hearing on violence against women organised at the Indian Social Institute.

The public hearing was organised as a prelude to the ‘One Billion Rising’ global women’s campaign to take off on Thursday, February 14.

The public hearing brought together women across Bangalore who shared their experiences on a common platform.

They were given legal advice and counselling on how to empower themselves. Sister Valsa, lecturer in St Joseph’s College exhorted the women to make themselves aware of existing legal provisions against exploitation.

She opined that legal awareness was the first step towards women’s empowerment. She advised them to approach the police immediately in case of abuse.

Women’s Voice General Secretary Ruth Manorama said the police must build confidence in women being sensitive to their issues and registering complaints immediately.

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