Working with violence survivor (case work)
HUMSAFAR is guided by an innovative multi-faceted approach to change societal patterns of violence in the family through direct case support.
HUMSAFAR’s case work unit has been providing a wide range of support services, including paralegal, legal, medical, social mediation, counseling, rescue, shelter and rehabilitation to over 6881 women survivors (as of March 31, 2015).
For women in Uttar Pradesh it is often a struggle to access the police system for justice. HUMSAFAR counsels and supports those violence survivors who want to file a formal case and follow it up in the court of law.
HUMSAFAR’s team of legal experts holds daily legal clinics where they are available to survivors to discuss their cases, learn about their options, get their documents examined and prepare for their court appearances.
Hundreds of cases are being followed up in the district court and family courts of Lucknow. In case a Lucknow-based survivor faces violence in some other city or even abroad, HUMSAFAR has helped them fight their legal battle with the help of network partners or even the Ministry of External Affairs.
In 2008 the Lucknow Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) office had approached HUMSAFAR to assist their weekly’ ‘Family Counseling Centre’. Since then HUMSAFAR’s Programme coordinators (legal team) have also been counseling violence survivors at the weekly ‘Family Counseling Centre’ at the Lucknow SSP office. They have intervened in thousands of cases till now.
The SSP office also sought the help of HUMSAFAR’s legal coordinators to intervene in PAHAL, which is the Lucknow police initiative to intensely counsel minor sexual violence survivors and their families over a period of time to help them reintegrate in society.
Network partners of HUMSAFAR which are working in other states refer cases to HUMSAFAR which are then followed up if the survivors’ natal or marital home is in Lucknow Division.
Similarly, HUMSAFAR also refers cases to network partners when survivors have shifted to other parts of the country.
Counselors can be contacted in person with prior appointment during working hours at the HUMSAFAR office or at the Helpline number to provide legal advice and guidance to anyone seeking help. However, in cases of emergency they are available on phone even after working hours.
Survivors who are satisfied with the holistic help that they receive at HUMSAFAR refer cases. It is a matter of pride for HUMSAFAR that approximately 60 percent of new cases are referred by old cases.
Oxfam has recognized the contribution of an active VAW survivor who brings cases on a regular basis as ‘Agent of Change’ for the year 2014-15.