The Azad Foundation: Liberating Women from Domestic Violence since 2008
India?s tumultuous relationship as a country with the rights of women and their protection from the different kinds of violence has led to India being ranked the most dangerous country in the world for Women in 2018. However, while eve-teasing and rape are the first that come to mind when talking about harassment women face in India, one must also address the Violence suffered by these women behind the closed doors of their own home. Domestic Violence is different forms of violence inflicted by an individual in a relationship where both parties are in a domestic relationship. This definition is not limited to marriage and can extend to romantic relationships and even fiduciary domestic relationships like parents. Domestic Violence is also not limited to physical violence. Emotional, Verbal, Sexual and even Economical abuse is possible. It has been further deemed that even humiliation will be considered to be a form of domestic Violence. Despite the fact there are several legislation and mechanisms in place for these abused women to seek justice, but many a times they fall through the cracks. This is due to the fact that the Indian courts are expected to value the sanctity of the institution of marriage and is always asked to prioritize maintaining that relationship. This often leads to judges forcing women to ?adjust? with these men in order to preserve the marriage. Another issue observed in these communities is that women in abusive marriages are often isolated from the world, meaning that many of them are unemployed and financially dependent on their abusers. An organization that understands the shortcomings of the practical application of domestic Violence and Dowry Prohibition laws in India and addresses the aforementioned predicament is the Azad Foundation. Here, they provide for a six month long course where they are taught topics such as self-defence, women?s rights, sexuality and reproductive rights, effective communication, grooming and most importantly, driving. This is done in order to urge the women to become more independent in order for them to be able to escape the abusers they will no longer be tied to. The driving that has been taught to these women can be used by these women to work for Azad Foundation's sister foundation Sakha Consulting Wings as a cab driver in their initiative to provide safe car for hire and cab systems for women.
This foundation not only provides these women with financial Independence, but also a broader scale of power to these women. They are educated on themselves and are made aware that they are strong and capable women on their own. It helps build courage in the community to find against this evil in a larger scale as well.