Safety is major concern for women everywhere. Women feel insecure and threatened, not only within their homes but in the workplaces and public spaces. An abuse free environment is the basic minimum launching pad for women, from where they can take off to higher level of empowerment. Statistics on crimes against women and studies on the safety of women prove that women are not safe in Kerala.
Addressing violence against women and work towards preventing violence are a very important part of the work of Sakhi. Besides individual counselling and offering legal help, Sakhi also conducts awareness classes, campaigns, poster exhibitions and so on as a prevention strategy
Sakhi developed a directory on support services for women in Kerala who are victims of violence with support from UN Women. We collaborated with Human Right Law Network, to start Streeneethi as a legal cell to help women who face violence. Sakhi conducted a study on domestic violence for the Department of Health, Government of Kerala (2004) with support from UNDP and which paved the way for the formation of Bhoomika One stop Prevention centres in the health system in Kerala
“Safe City Free of Violence against Women and Girls” initiative was conducted by Sakhi, with the support of UN Women and Jagori, Delhi, in two phases from November 2009 to October 2013, spanning the cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur and Kochi. We produced a draft bill for ensuring safety of women in public spaces and submitted it to the state government.
We were a partner to the study on the mobile base application ‘saftipin’(www.saftipin.com) which used the app to examine how safe the city area are for women by analysing various aspects such as infra structure transportation, role of police, and perception of safety. One of the major features of the application called “safety audit’ was also used in selected cities
We along with “saftipin” collaborated with an academic Study initiated by Kings College, London along with the Fore School of Management (FSM) Delhi and the London School of Economics (LSE). This project was funded by the British Academy’s Cities & Infrastructure Programme. The study was titled “(Dis) Connected Infrastructures and Violence against Women (VAW)
Our staffs are members of internal complaints committee of several of various institutions and Departments of Government.
We were active in promoting the functioning of Jagratha samithis-JS (Vigilance cells) which are quasi judicial mechanism initiated by the government of Kerala at the level of each local government to protect the rights of women. The structure and functioning was elaborated by the government and Kerala State women’s commission took a proactive role to train and facilitate the formation and functioning of the decentralised redressal forum. Yet mostly the forum remained inactive. Sakhi too undertook the training of elected members and other stakeholders to activate JS. We prepared a manual and worked with panchayats to form JS and offer regular support and handholding to address cases of violence against women at the local level.