Here's How Women Are Reporting Domestic Violence Cases Using A Red Dot

by | September 23, 2020, 10:50 IST


Lockdown has created an opportunity for us to spend some quality time with our loved ones, but it doesn't seem to be true with many women being locked up with their abusers. Bengaluru based social entrepreneur Iti Rawat's Women Entrepreneurs For Transformation (WEFT) came up with a signal that could be used by the victims to report them being abused. "When the country signalled a nationwide lockdown, the domestic abuse cases were on an all-time high," said Rawat. "Our WEFT foundation works towards the gender diversity gap in the startup ecosystem. During the lockdown, we reached out to our entrepreneurs to check on their well-being and if they encounter any issues due to COVID. To our shock, one of our members sought help regarding domestic violence" explained Rawat, who also said she came to know about a previous employee being subjected to abuse at home. Rawat's efforts rescued them both. "I started reading about the real issue and realised that this is a global shadow pandemic which does exist in every third household and 88 per cent of times the cases go unreported."

They are either unable or afraid to call the police or seek someone's help. This is where the Red Dot initiative comes in. It is a simple thought of placing a red dot on the palm. The citizens who see the red dot on the palm can either get in touch with WEFT through social media or email, or they can also call 181, which is the toll-free number to get help.


"A red dot is a symbol of power or Shakti. A victim needs a lot of courage to break the shackles and societal norms."

Since the lockdown, the domestic violence cases are at an all-time high. Uncertainties such as loss of a job, pay cuts and a new way of dealing with the family, has led to frustration which naturally was taken out on the vulnerable members of the family - the woman. WEFT's Red Dot initiative has received 180 calls, and they have managed to rescue 70+ domestic violence victims. "We have already come across the gruesome act of the lady in Shamshadbagh who committed suicide, later when the case was probed; the CCTV footages showed how her husband beat her up. Another case where a judge of a high court was found beating her daughter-in-law along with the whole family, while her one-year-old son desperately tried to rescue her," recalls Rawat, who focuses on how to make the victims openly talk about the abuse, thereby ensuring that they get timely help.

Rawat says India is considered as one of the most unsafe places for women to live. She urges the need for more stringent laws. "Apart from the law, the change should start within us. There should be no difference shown to a daughter and a son, living in the same household. The boy should be taught how to respect a woman," added Rawat who feels one might raise a 'wife beater' if they end up seeing their mother being abused by their father. "Gender discrimination in our family has to stop before we move towards a safer place for women for our younger generation."
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