WHAT IS THE DURGA PROJECT?
DURGA (Dare Against Abuse) is an initiative under the banner of HWN (Hindu Women’s Network). This guidance document will help you to start the DURGA project in your city.
DURGA project provides resources to the survivors of domestic abuse and they can contact appropriate resources according to their needs. This guidance document will provide resources to help our DURGA to start their journey to rebuild the life for herself and her family. DURGA project resource guide will provide the name, phone number and other contact information of various agencies that are available at the local, state, and federal level.
WHY DO WE NEED DURGA PROJECT?
Asian Indian women in the U.S. (~ 20%) report experiencing Domestic Violence (DV) during their lifetime, based on a compilation of disaggregated samples of Asian ethnicities in local communities. DV could lead to fatalities – most of the time (80%) it leads to homicide of adult and/or children and sometimes (20%) to suicidal death. Moreover, many women have also experienced sexual violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner. During COVID-19 outbreak there has been increase in these incidents. Many Hindu women coming from India don’t have family support in this country and feel helpless when they become target of DV. So, it’s time for us to step up and support these women.
MISSION & VISION OF THE DURGA PROJECT
Our mission is to empower Hindu women and families affected by Domestic Violence (DV) to lead a safe and secured life.
Our vision is to create community free of abuse against women and empower them to stand up for their rights.
BASIC GUIDELINES OF DURGA PROJECT
Here is the list of some DO’s and DON’TS that HWN volunteers should follow –
- Provide guidance to all Hindu women regardless of age, background, country of origin, disability, class position and immigration status.
- Work initially one-on-one with survivor to address their individual needs and to better understand the seriousness of their situation.
- Assist survivor in providing short-term safety and also provide resources whom to contact depending upon their situation.
- Provide “Resource Package” to the survivor which has a list of agencies and local contact to whom a survivor can contact in their city. This package also contains information what initial actions a survivor should take.
- Community Outreach: Raise awareness about the DURGA project in your community by reaching out to religious institutions, universities and other community-based organizations. Provide pamphlets with contact numbers etc.
- Partner with local agencies (such as Sakhi, Saheli, Asha, Women Helping Women etc.) in your city to use their expertise and resources.
- Before making any financial commitments explore all free assistance available at local/state level Motivate local Hindu leaders who can provide support and counseling in medical, legal, financial, social, and psychological fields.
- Contact local Mandir and ask them to promote DURGA in their charter, on their website and advertise in the newsletter. Provide guidance to Mandir priests on how to respond when someone calls for help.
- Recommend survivor to not to put any personal information on any kind of social media and also encourage to change her email and phone numbers.
- NEVER MEET SURVYVORS AT THEIR HOME. MEET THEM IN A MUTUALLY AGREED UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
- Should not be involved in any legal binding or obligations.
- Do not sign anywhere or co-sign any contract where legal complications can come.
- Don’t get too much emotionally involved. Remember, HWN volunteers are to help, empower and make them independent.
- Don’t make any final decision as we may not know the full story but make sure that the survivors are safe from any physical harm.
- By listening a victim cry and complaints. Sometimes complainers are on wrong side too.
- HWN Volunteers should not take any initiative for making a call or filing a complaint. Let survivor to take an action and make calls.
- Volunteer should also refrain from sharing any information about survivor on any kinds of social media.
- Don’t give any cash to the survivor instead help her in making needed payments only if needed.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS FOR CINCINNATI
|Women Help Women – Cincinnati||513-381-5610|
|Domestic Violence hotline 24/7 available||1-800-799-7233|
|Hindu Temple – Cincinnati||513-528-3714|
|Sai Temple – Cincinnati||513-755-0244|
|Guru Nanak Society – Cincinnati||513-860-0589|
|Swami Narayan Temple – Cincinnati||513-326-2364|
|Jain Center of Cincinnati & Dayton||513-755-1400|
CINCINNATI HWN TEAM MEMBER PHONE MEMBER
|Member Name||phone number|
INITIAL STEPS TO BE TAKEN BY SURVIVOR
- Collect real time evidence and keep a record of incidents.
- Keep some money handy incase if you need to call a taxi to move to a safer place.
- Do not get scared or afraid. Have some friends with you if possible or move on alone.
- Pack a bag with documents, medicines, phone, phone chargers and other necessities.
- Keep a copy of all-important documents (Passports, Visa status papers, Social Security card, Driver License, Birth Certificate etc.) Keep them with a very close friend or relative. Sometimes, they can be stolen by spouse or lost in transition processes.
- Keep the phone handy
- Safety words and Contacts: Make a “Safety word” with children or a neighbor (so that they can call neighbor/police if needed)
- Know the address and phone number of your nearest shelter. You can call “Women Help Women Cincinnati” at phone number 513-381- 5610. Or you can call Domestic violence hotline 24/7 available 1.800.799.7233.
- Alternative shelter: Contact domestic violence shelters in case you need to leave your home. If shelter is closed keep a place in mind perhaps a neighbor, friend or family member where you may go if need arises.
- Call 911 for the police in an emergency. File the complaint - don’t get worried and don’t try to hide anything. Tell all the truth how much ever bitter it can be.
- Call your local temple and share your needs
- Always look for safety. Try to avoid stairs and unsafe rooms that have sharp objects or hard surfaces.
- Contact Children’s Service if children are involved. These services never take kids away unless they have any evidence of abuse or neglect. Tell them the facts and they will help you as needed.
- At shelter don’t hesitate to ask for resources they have to help you. If you are green card holder or citizen all resources are very helpful and applicable to you.
- While in shelter -
- Ask for Legal Aid services. Describe your problem and keep seeking for help.
- Apply for Child Support, Health Insurance, Child Care, Housing Rental Assistance. Shelter staff mostly tell you about resources but if they don’t then do not hesitate to ask for.
- Go for therapy which is provided by them it really helps you keep mental peace.
- Shelter provides you lawyer for immigration. For family cases they also help you to go to court.
- Transportation facility is available for people who don’t have car, but it is usually for a particular area only.
- There are free grocery, clothes and shoe stores through church where you get used cloths, shoe or some donated foods.
- If children are having any problems in school it is advised to inform School Counselor about current situation going on in the family. School counselor always provide them support.