What We Do ?
|At Women In Need we adopt a holistic approach to addressing the issue of gender based violence, by providing all essential support services to victims free of charge.|
The psychological effects of abuse are incredibly destructive. Psychological counselling for victims of GBV is important to empower them and enable them to overcome their trauma.
The majority of women and girls in Sri Lanka have no knowledge of the law or the rights protected by the law , nor have the financial -means of defending these rights in court. WIN's victims are provided free legal advice and are represented in court as and when required by the victims. These victims are made aware of their legal rights and legal position, assisting them to decide which mode of action to take against the perpetrator. WIN deals with cases pertaining to domestic violence, rape, incest, sexual abuse and harassment, and child abuse.
WIN shelters, located in Colombo, Matara and Batticaloa, are safe havens for victims – women and children – who are in need of special care and psychological support. The victim most often had to run away from her home for her safety or is chased out by the abuser. These victims are traumatised and generally disoriented and have no personal belongings, money or food. WIN ensures that such victim survivors are given proper medical and psychological support, clothing and food. Throughout the years, WIN has attained a great level of trust among many State and Non-State organisations that many members of the judiciary have referred clients on many occasions to WIN shelters.
WIN's hotline accommodates calls from Sinhala, Tamil and English. It mainly assists individuals who cannot be served by the crisis centres around the country due to distance, time or urgency. Sometimes a caller is more comfortable to talk over the phone and get professional help rather than meeting the counsellors in person.
WIN has introduced the first ever mobile app addressing gender based violence in Sri Lanka named 2SIX4. The purpose of this mobile app is that, despite there being a strong GBV support system in the country, there is a lack of accessibility to such services. Hence, the mobile app works in two folds – one, as an emergency contact point for victims who are in a state of crisis; and two, as a platform of information and instructions on legal rights and measures to be taken for women and girls. It is available in all 3 languages and can be downloaded from Google Play Store.
Most women who receive treatment at the hospitals for their physical injuries do not reveal the details of their circumstances. The presence of WIN's counsellors at select hospital has made it convenient and accommodative for victims to seek help and intervention to end the abuse faced by them.
WIN has provided comfortable spaces inside select police stations to help women access services through WIN crisis centres. The police also use information and experiences from WIN desks to implement efficient work when handling domestic violence cases.
Participation in support groups can be a key to unlocking social stigma, shame and isolation. The connection is created by women who are experiencing or have experienced violence in their relationships and give them a safe, confidential forum in which to speak about their trauma and draw comfort from those who understand.
WIN also has a recycle paper project that began in 2012, and is functioning in Colombo and Matara, which enables victims to take up a form of livelihood. This acts as a means of income generation for the victims who have been dependent on their spouse or family while they were trapped in a cycle of violence and abuse.