Day Long Seminar On Gender Violence Held

For Representational Purpose only

In The Interactive Session, Victim-Survivors Spoke About Their Woes

Saima Shakeel

Srinagar: The Human Right Law Netwok (HRLN)  and local non-profit Mehram on Saturday organized a day-long seminar on Gender Justice at the Solar Residency in Rajbagh. The seminar brought together legal practitioners and victim-survivors of different forms of gender based violence.

A 37 year old victim-survivor of domestic violence while narrating her experience of redressal process said “the saying that ‘process is punishment’ holds true for victims in institutions of redressal on Kashmir.”

The participant said she had left her abusive marriage with the confidence that her situation would get better but since then, she feels it only worsened due to “revictimization at the courts.”

Another victim said she had attempted suicide due to the trauma that her husband and in-laws had put her through along with the prolonged court process.

The participants also discussed the issue of not having anywhere to go if they walked out of abusive marriages.

A participant shared that she had been living in an abusive marriage for years. “My sister is also separated and everytime I tell her about my willingness to call off my marriage, she tells me things have gone from bad to worse because there is no support or encouragement for women walking out of marriages no matter how abusive those are,” she said.

She added that “the inability to walk out of an abusive marriage due to lack of a dignified shelter is having an impact on the well being of her child which is causing her anxiety.”

Women from different walks of life shared their experiences of coming face to face with the redressal systems like police, judiciary and mohalla committees.

Mehram’s cofounder Arshie Qureshi told Kashmir Observer that the session was to create a space for women and victims to bring them together and listen to their experiences and problems and provide legal support.

“To understand the loopholes of the problems and provide support to the victims in different aspects which will be flexible for the victims,” she said.

Shehriyar Khanum, also cofounder of Mehram, said “this session was basically to hear the stories of victims and the kind of failures that they see in their whole struggle”.

She added: “We are here to create a space for women who want to share their problems and experiences.”

HRLN member Syed Musaib said “we have gathered here to discuss the problems and experience faced by the victims in the legal process and want to full fill the gap”.

It was an interactive session where victims discussed the problems they have faced during their struggle and gave suggestions which could be fruitful in future. They wanted to spread awareness about the rights of the women, so that no other women will be the victim again .The session was concluded by giving gifts to victims as a token of love.

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