A House Where A Woman Is Unsafe Is Not A Home

Name: Aruna
Age: 30 Years
Village: Pedda Harijanwada

Aruna, 30 years, mother of two children used to live with her husband and mother-in- law in the village Pedda Harijanwada. She has no idea about her neighbours, or the dynamics of her village. She managed to do all the housework, while her mother-in-law laboured in the farm. Aruna had just enough to feed the children two square meals a day. She was always hoping that her husband will earn an income someday which would allow her to meet children’s needs. Years passed by and nothing changed. Whenever Aruna tried to discuss the need for an income, she and her husband would end up in a quarrel.

The discussions often ended up with her husband yelling at her asking for dowry. There were instances wherein he would ask her to go out, get work and earn money in order to run the house. Subsequently, he became alcoholic and there were frequent episodes of violent physical and verbal abuse. Aruna learnt to put up with the violence although she has a fair understanding of domestic violence by attending WINS’ IKYA sessions. She made sure that her children attended pre-school.

Aruna was also regular to capacity building meetings. In one of the meetings, when she heard about the facility for Domestic violence victims, she started narrating her owes. “I did not get the confidence to talk about my husband’s bad behavior either in the beginning or at the end of monthly meetings, though I heard many women share their life issues, to day I want to talk about the ill treatment of my husband, my fear in not revealing is because he might commit suicide, out of shame, if he learns that I am sharing this in women’s meetings. She even hesitated when her peers (IKYA members) suggested that they will counsel him. she disliked the idea of counseling as she might land up in more trouble, as he is good except that he does not fulfill the role of a “provider”

Few days later IKYA members met Pakala Mandal Judge. He was talking to women about their well-being, she took the opportunity to stand up and speak and asked whether he can provide some source of income for women- say tailoring centre, etc., he responded positively and directed WINS staff to take her to the ONE STOP CENTRE- Domestic Violence cell where she would get all kinds of support under one roof. Aruna is all set to earn a living for herself and become economically independent.