Established in 1985 as a consequence of awareness created by the play “Mulgi Zali Ho”, the Family Counselling Centers (FCCs) offer services to the community irrespective of religion, caste, creed, sect, region, language, age, gender. SMS has a large network of experienced, trained and dedicated counsellors. Our counsellors help and counsel aggrieved persons to face any situation and stop all kinds of violence and prevention of violence.
Domestic violence comes in many forms – physical, sexual abuse, mental, and emotional, individual and societal. Often these cases go unattended and the victims receive little to no support from family and/or friends as well as the state machinery – government, judiciary, and police. We help victims/survivors of domestic violence by providing various forms of support. Please read on for some of the warning signs of an abusive relationship and the services we offer to victims of domestic violence.
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What is Domestic Violence?
According to Indian law, domestic violence is defined by Section 3 of the Act as “any act, omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it:
- harms or injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or well-being, whether mental or physical, of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse; or
- harasses, harms, injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security; or
- has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b); or
- otherwise injures or causes harm, whether physical or mental, to the aggrieved person.”
How we help
Once a case is registered with us, we involve all concerned persons in the counseling process:
- Individual and Joint Counseling sessions
- Home visits when needed
- A complete action plan to stop violence
- Is excessively possessive/jealous and wants to know where you are all the time
- Adjustment/Inter-personal problems
- Interference of parents
- Taking no responsibility for self behaviour and blaming others
- Insisting that you stop spending time with friends or family
- Insisting that you stop participating in leisure activities
- Derogatory name calling
- Grew up in an abusive / violent home
Save the Girl Child
Social discrimination against women and the preference of a male child has led to numerous incidences of female foeticide. Our campaign emphasizes all prevention practices including performing audits of hospitals/ private practioners/ any other centers using ultrasound machines and ensuring there is no misuse of the same. We promote awareness about importance of the girl child and the various opportunities available for her. We also make the general public aware of the PCPNDT Act which prohibits sex selection
All too often, addiction and violence go hand in hand. Addiction (Alcohol, Drugs, Masheri or burnt tobacco, etc) leads to a drastic change in the behaviour of the addict and can lead to severe consequences and life threatening situations. Our de-addiction awareness sessions are for various sections in the community, where we interact with the women, help them identify addiction which may or may not be limited to alcohol and could be something they themselves or their partners are facing. We encourage forming self help groups which can form a strong support system for the addicts and their families. We refer addicts to de-addiction centers and are a part of the journey for de-addiction
Legal literacy on Women’s Rights and Laws
We hold sessions with the women in the community and hold interactive talks with them about their rights in their natal and marital homes, laws regarding women, government schemes for women and create awareness within the community
In collaboration with various colleges, we hold pre-marital workshops for final year students (TY BA, BCom, BSc etc) where our speakers hold workshops with the students to create awareness about gender sensitivity and gender equality, choosing your partner, marital adjustment and sex and sexuality education to create awareness and improve communication between partners
The play “Mulgi zali ho” in Marathi and “Beti Ayee Hai” in Hindi is performed by our cultural troupe for youth in the colleges and also for people in the community. It shows the entire life cycle of a girl child – right from her birth and carries a powerful message of gender sensitivity and equality
We provide training to build leadership skills and capacity building of women living in the community. This team of trained women help needy women in the community, intervene in cases of domestic violence and guide them to the nearest counselling/service center. When these centers are closed or unavailable, community counsellors intervene, support and provide help to the survivor.
Individual Counseling in Colleges
After our premarital workshops conducted in colleges, teachers approached us about students who face abuse in their homes. The performance of these students are adversely affected, and they show typical signs of abuse. Our counseling is focused on individual issues of domestic violence faced by students at their homes. Our counselors go to the college and counsel students facing problems at home.
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
Every employer is required to constitute an Internal Committee (IC) at each office or branch with 10 or more employees. The IC needs to have at least one member from amongst NGOs or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment as part of this committee. We are members of many such committees which address the issues related to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, Redressal) Act, 2013