Empowerment of Women experiencing Violence

SIEDS strengthens the position of women in Bangalore and fights domestic violence. Every year 300 women seek advice in the Crisis Intervention Centre and 500 burn victims are documented and assisted in the burn unit of Victoria Hospital. In the suburbs of Bangalore more than 250 women are supported in self-aid groups. In the women’s shelter in Kolar up to 30 women and their children find temporary protection. Furthermore, SIEDS regularly organises courses on topics like empowerment of women, violence connected with dowries and selective abortion of female foetuses in 25 districts.  

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in India

SIEDS works in Bangalore, a city of 8 million people, a city of contrasts, rapid economic growth, a booming IT industry and a permanent increase of social inequality.

A marriage hall in Bangalore. Because of the rapid economic growth the pressure on women to bring a large dowry into the marriage is growing especially in the cities. The men also suffer from this increase of the pressure.

A poor dowry, a wedding that doesn’t meet the high expectations, excessive consumption of alcohol, high social pressure, frustration, all this can lead to physical and psychological violence against women. Acts of violence like intentional burnings are mostly explained as domestic accidents.

A SIEDS counsellor is pointing out possible strategies to escape the cycle of violence. In the Crisis Intervention Centre counsellors offer support to women affected by violence and encourage them to work out suitable solutions for their problems – if possible in interaction with their families.

Members of SIEDS make interventions in families and communities encouraging women to be active agents. If necessary, SIEDS negotiates with the responsible authorities.

The students are listening attentively to every word of Mamtha, a member of SIEDS. Violence must not be prevented only in the short term. Gender roles have to be reconsidered, discussed and negotiated from an early age. SIEDS organises awareness campaigns in schools, neighbourhoods and with public authorities.