The Dilaasa Crisis Centre provides counselling to women facing domestic violence. Women are referred to the crisis centre from the different departments in the hospital such as casualty, out-patient and in-patient departments. Referrals to ‘Dilaasa’ are also made from other hospitals and health facilities of the MCGM. Doctors and nurses in all departments of the hospital have been trained to ask screening questions and identify women experiencing domestic violence. If the woman is admitted in the hospital, the counsellors are called to the ward to speak to the woman concerned. In addition, crisis centre staff visit the Casualty department everyday and make sure that all women registered as medico-legal cases get the services of the Crisis centre.
The center provides immediate psychological and social support to women. It follows a feminist approach that believes that women are not responsible for the violence they face and therefore validation of women’s feelings, helping her deal with the abuse; developing strategies to enable women to lead a violence free life are some of the objectives of the interventions. The crisis centre has links with police machinery, legal aid agency and shelter services to enable women to seek different services within the same location.
Women at Dilaasa are provided detailed information about the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (PWDV) Act and laws related to custody, divorce, maintenance and provision of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and the implications of such action. Women who have opted to pursue legal action are connected with a lawyer from an organisation called Majlis, who visits Dilaasa once a week.
If the women cannot go back to her home Dilaasa also provides temporary shelter at two shelters in Mumbai. Dilaasa has also created a facility of emergency shelter within the hospital. Thus, if there is a perceived threat to a woman’s life, she can avail of the shelter. Availing of a hospital based shelter helps the woman avoid stigma and provides her time to think about potential steps to end abuse.
Referral to other agencies:
For some women, individual counselling is not effective enough and they feel the need to connect and speak with other women who have also been victimised by domestic abuse. The purpose of group counselling sessions is to eliminate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Women requiring such an intervention are referred and accompanied to organisations that facilitate such group meetings, such as Awaaz-e-Niswaan and the Women’s Centre. Women are also given information about available skill building courses, trusts providing monetary relief for educational and health purposes and are referred to relevant agencies for social support.
On an average 250 new women register for services at the crisis centre every year and 50 % of them follow up for the services. This is almost double the number of women accessing services in counseling centers located in other settings.
Bandra Bhabha Hospital
Department No. 101
K.B. Bhabha Municipal Hospital, R.K. Patkar Margm Bandra West, Mumbai - 400050
Phone: 022- 26400229 (Direct)
022- 26422775/266422541 Ext. 4376,4511
Timings: 9.00a.m. to 4.00p.n. (Monday - Friday)
9.00a.m. to 12.00 noon Saturday
Kurla Bhabha Hospital
K.B.Bhabha Municipal Hospital
Belgrami Road, Kurla West
Mumbai - 400070
Phone: 022-26500241 Extn.212
Timings: 9.00a.m. to 4.00p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday