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19 October 2020


India: Violence against women, including homelessness, workplace violence and acid attacks; legislation, state protection, support services, and recourse available, particularly in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru [Bangalore] (2017–August 2020)

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Overview

In 2019, the BBC reported that "[r]ape and sexual violence against women have been in focus in India since the December 2012 gang-rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in the capital, Delhi. But there has been no sign that crimes against women are abating" (BBC 7 Dec. 2019a). A 2019 article in Time similarly reported that after the 2012 case,

[t]he government implemented legal reforms, including mandating harsher punishments for rapists, and launched initiatives aimed at improving safety for women. In 2014, shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected, his government pledged a "zero tolerance" policy on violence against women and said it would "strengthen the criminal justice system." But for the most part, activists say little has changed. (Time 23 Dec. 2019)

According to 2018 crime statistics report published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of India's Ministry of Home Affairs, the total crimes against women reported nationwide were 359,849 in 2017 and 378,277 in 2018; the crime rate per lakh [one lakh is 100,000 (India Today 12 Mar. 2019)] in the female population was 57.9 percent in 2017 and 58.8 percent in 2018 (India [Dec. 2019], xii, 195). The same source reports the following:

[In 2018, the m]ajority of cases under crimes against women out of total IPC [Indian Penal Code] crimes against women were registered under 'Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives' (31.9%) followed by 'Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty' (27.6%), 'Kidnapping & Abduction of Women' (22.5%) and 'Rape' (10.3%). (India [Dec. 2019], xii)

The NCRB further states that there were also 47,355 reported incidents of "Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty"; 20,926 reported incidents of sexual harassment, and of those 401 were at the workplace, 730 on public transit, 707 in "Shelter Homes" for women and children, and 19,124 in "other places"; 9,949 reported incidents of "Assault or use of Criminal Force on women with intent to Disrobe"; 1,393 reported incidents of voyeurism and 9,438 of stalking; 33,354 reported incidents of "Kidnapping and Abduction of Women to compel her for marriage," and 3,039 of "Procuration of Minor Girls"; and 33,356 reported incidents of rape, and 4,097 of attempted rape (India [Dec. 2019], 2-3).

The US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2019 indicates that rape is India's "fastest-growing" crime, partly due to victims' increasing willingness to report (US 11 Mar. 2020, 42). According to the last National Family Health Survey conducted between 2015 and 2016 by India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, among 79,729 women who completed the survey's questionnaire, 14 percent of women in India who have experienced physical or sexual violence sought help (India Dec. 2017, 564, 572). The same survey indicates that of all the women who sought help, 65.2 percent sought help from her own family, 28.8 from her husband's family, 3.3 percent from the police and 1.2 percent from a social service organization (India Dec. 2017, 599).

1.1 Homelessness

Based on her visit to India in April 2016, a UN Special Rapporteur states that homeless women and children face "particular forms of violence or are more vulnerable to them" (UN 10 Jan. 2017, para. 35). The same source states that the lack of access to medical services for homeless women, especially for pregnant women, has a "disproportionate impact" and that many homeless children and women "suffer from severe malnutrition" (UN 10 Jan. 2017, para. 35). According to a report authored by the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), a human rights organization based in New Delhi, and submitted to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women,

[h]omeless women, particularly young women, suffer the worst kinds of violence and insecurity, and are vulnerable to sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. Instances of rape, molestation, and women spending sleepless nights guarding their young adolescent girls are a common feature among homeless women. (HLRN [2017], 1)

The same source reports that the perpetrators of violence against homeless women "include the police, shelter managers, government officials and passers-by who do not let homeless women sleep, ask them for sexual favours, abuse them verbally and physically, and frequently destroy their temporary accommodation" (HLRN [2017], 5).

1.2 Workplace Violence

US Country Reports 2019 indicates that sexual harassment "remained a serious problem" (US 11 Mar. 2020, 46). According to a report produced by an intern at the Symbiosis Statistical Institute, a university outside the city of Pune in Maharashtra (Symbiosis Statistical Institute n.d.), and submitted to a consultant for India's Ministry of Women and Child Development, "[y]oung women, early in their careers, are among the least powerful in a workplace and commonly targeted by sexual abusers" (Khandelwal [2019], 3).

According to a survey conducted by the Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) [1] and Gender at Work [2] with 456 women working in media, mostly based in metropolitan centres such as Delhi and Kolkata, over 36 percent of all respondents reported experiencing workplace sexual harassment (NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 2, 4, 11). The same survey found that

the most common forms [of harassment experienced by survey respondents] were sexist comments, unwelcome sexual jokes, embarrassing gestures or body language, attempts to establish unwanted romantic and/or sexual relationships, and pestering for dates. The promise of rewards for compliance, accompanied by threats of mistreatment because of a refusal to engage in sexual behaviour, was also reported. In addition, unwanted touching, fondling, sexual assault and rape were documented. (NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 11)

A report written by Netrika Consulting India Private Limited (Netrika), a professional risk and integrity management company, based on a survey on workplace sexual harassment conducted in 2016 by the India National Bar Association (INBA) with 6,047 participants and 45 male and female victims, indicates that 25 percent of victims experienced inappropriate touching, 25 percent experienced physical harassment, 25 percent experienced "comments," 12.5 percent experienced sexism and 12.5 percent were asked for sexual favours (INBA and Netrika 2017, 12, 14, 43).

1.3 Acid Attacks

Information on acid attacks was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. The NCRB reports that there were 228 reported acid attacks and 59 attempted acid attacks in 2018 (India [Dec. 2019], 2). Media sources indicate that activists disputed official figures and argued that acid attacks were underreported (The Guardian 2 Apr. 2019; DW 8 June 2016). Sources state that most acid attacks occur over "rejection of unwanted male attention" (Gulf News 27 Jan. 2020) or "revenge for a refused marriage proposal, family or land disputes, domestic violence or suspicion of infidelity" (The Guardian 11 Apr. 2017).

For information on honour-based violence, including state response and support services, see Response to Information Request IND200256 of June 2020. For information on domestic violence, including state response and support services, see Response to Information Request IND200255 of June 2020.

2. Legislation and State Response
2.1 Rape

Sources state that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 increased the minimum sentence for rape from 7 years to 10 years (US 11 Mar. 2020, 42; The Hindu 17 Dec. 2019). US Country Reports 2019 indicates that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 increased the minimum sentence for the rape of girls under 16 from 10 years to between 20 years and life imprisonment and provided a minimum sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty for the gang rape of a girl under 12 years of age (US 11 Mar. 2020, 42).

The 2018 NCRB crime statistics report provides the following table of "Disposal of IPC Cases by Police & Court":

Disposal of IPC Cases by Police & Court
S. No. Crime Head under IPC Total Cases for Investigation Charge- sheeting Rate [3] Total Cases for Trial Total Cases Convicted Conviction Rate
1. Murder 49,891 84.2 221,250 7,512 41.4
2. Rape 47,139 85.3 156,327 4,708 27.2
3. Kidnapping & Abduction 1,69,790 [4] 38.1 2,28,319 4,973 29.2
4. Rioting 91,799 85.4 4,97,909 5,299 18.8
5. Hurt (including acid attack) 6,80,868 89.4 24,96,541 69,404 32.6

(India [Dec. 2019], xv)

The Guardian indicates that it is "common for court cases to last years or even decades" (The Guardian 21 Apr. 2018). The BBC states that "[i]t can be difficult to secure convictions given the length of time it takes for cases to reach court, and the pressures that are sometimes exerted on both the victim, and potential witnesses" (BBC 7 Dec. 2019b). A 2017 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on sexual assault survivors in India indicates that women are "often afraid" to report attacks as they fear being stigmatized and "feel unable to overcome institutional barriers in a criminal justice system that offers no protection to victims or witnesses" (HRW 8 Nov. 2017). The BBC reports that a woman in Unnao, northern Uttar Pradesh state, was set on fire while on the way to a court appearance to testify against her alleged rapists; "[f]ive men, including the alleged rapists, have been arrested," and the woman later died of her injuries (BBC 7 Dec. 2019a).

Sources report that in 2019, a group of men raped, murdered, and burnt the body of a 27-year-old veterinarian in the city of Hyderabad (US 11 Mar. 2020, 43; AP 5 Dec. 2019). Sources further state that, in response, police fatally shot the four suspects who were reportedly trying to flee after being brought to the crime scene (US 11 Mar. 2020, 43; AP 5 Dec. 2019).

US Country Reports 2019 states that

[l]aw enforcement and legal recourse for rape victims were inadequate, and the judicial system was overtaxed and unable to address the problem effectively. Police sometimes worked to reconcile rape victims and their attackers; in some
cases they encouraged female rape victims to marry their attackers. (US 11 Mar. 2020, 42)

The 2017 HRW report similarly indicates that

police do not always adhere to these rules [which requires police officers to register sexual assault complaints by law]. They resist filing the First Information Report (FIR), the first step to initiating a police investigation, especially if the victim is from an economically or socially marginalized community. Police sometimes pressure the victim's family to "settle" or "compromise," especially if the perpetrator is from a powerful community. (HRW 8 Nov. 2017)

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) indicates that women victimized by men who are "well-connected in politics or who have significant wealth, or in cases where the woman is from a lower socio-economic class or caste, may have particular difficulties in having … reports of sexual assault" filed or investigated (Australia 17 Oct. 2018, para. 3.35). Sources indicate that a female junior court assistant accused the Chief Justice of India of sexual harassment; she withdrew her complaint after the judges' panel investigating her case denied her request to have her lawyer present and for information on the proceedings (Amnesty International 29 Jan. 2020, 23; Reuters 30 Apr. 2019). Sources report that the panel cleared the Chief Justice of wrongdoing (Amnesty International 29 Jan. 2020, 23; BBC 6 May 2019; AP 6 May 2019).

2.2 Workplace Violence

Sources indicate that the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (POSH Act) enables an "aggrieved woman," which is broadly defined and can include interns or visitors, to file a complaint (The Indian Express 12 Oct. 2018; NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 10). Article 2(a) of the POSH Act provides the following:

"aggrieved woman" means—

  1. in relation to a workplace, a woman, of any age whether employed or not, who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment by the respondent;
  2. in relation to dwelling place or house, a woman of any age who is employed in such a dwelling place or house[.] (India 2013a)

Sources state that the POSH Act requires employers to set up internal committees to hear complaints (NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 10; Nishith Desai Associates Nov. 2019, 8). Sources indicate that at the district level, a local committee is required to be set up (The Indian Express 12 Oct. 2018; Nishith Desai Associates Nov. 2019, 9; Sarpotdar 16 May 2020, 53-54), to hear complaints from workplaces with less than 10 employees or if the complaint is against the employer (Nishith Desai Associates Nov. 2019, 9; Sarpotdar 16 May 2020, 53-54).

Article 13(3) of the POSH Act provides the following:

Where the Internal Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, arrives at the conclusion that the allegation against the respondent has been proved, it shall recommend to the employer or the District Officer, as the case may be—

  1. to take action for sexual harassment as a misconduct in accordance with the provisions of the service rules applicable to the respondent or where no such service rules have been made, in such manner as may be prescribed;
  2. to deduct, notwithstanding anything in the service rules applicable to the respondent, from the salary or wages of the respondent such sum as it may consider appropriate to be paid to the aggrieved woman or to her legal heirs, as it may determine, in accordance with the provisions of section 15:

Provide that in case the employer is unable to make such deduction from the salary of the respondent due to his being absent from duty or cessation of employment it may direct to the respondent to pay such sum to the aggrieved woman:

Provided further that in case the respondent fails to pay the sum referred to in clause (ii), the Internal Committee or as, the case may be, the Local Committee may forward the order for recovery of the sum as an arrear of land revenue to the concerned District Officer. (India 2013a)

The NWMI and Gender at Work survey found that among survey respondents who reported that their organizations did not have complaints mechanism, 47 percent experienced sexual harassment (NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 11). The same survey further reports that out of those who experienced sexual harassment, over 53 percent did not report it; out of those who made a complaint, 70 percent were not "'completely satisfied' with the outcome" (NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 13). The INBA survey reports that 65.2 percent of the victim respondents reported unawareness of the procedures for reporting or that the company did not follow the procedure defined under the POSH Act and that 66.7 percent reported that the company's internal complaints committee did not deal with the complaint fairly (INBA and Netrika 2017, 17).

An article in the Indian Express, an English-language Indian daily newspaper, authored by Vrinda Grover, an advocate at the Supreme Court of India, states that the government "failed to create sufficient awareness" about the local committees (LCs), so it does not "seem to offer a robust option for redress" (The Indian Express 12 Oct. 2018). An article by Anagha Sarpotdar, a chairperson of the Mumbai city district local committee on sexual harassment at the workplace, indicates that

[g]enerating awareness about the rights of women employees guaranteed by law and raising their confidence to report incidents of sexual harassment is an important component of the LC's work. … However, most LCs, including in Mumbai city and suburbs, have not been able to do outreach programmes due to a lack of monetary support from the central and the state governments that is mandated under Section 8 of the 2013 act. (Sarpotdar 16 May 2020, 55)

2.3 Acid Attacks

The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 provides the following:

326A. Whoever causes permanent or partial damage or deformity to, or burns or maims or disfigures or disables, any part or parts of the body of a person or causes grievous hurt by throwing acid on or by administering acid to that person, or by using any other means with the intention of causing or with the knowledge that he is likely to cause such injury or hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and with fine;

Provided that such fine shall be just and reasonable to meet the medical expenses of the treatment of the victim:

Provided further that any fine imposed under this section shall be paid to the victim.

326B. Whoever throws or attempts to throw acid on any person or attempts to administer acid to any person, or attempts to use any other means, with the intention of causing permanent or partial damage or deformity or burns or maiming or disfigurement or disability or grievous hurt to that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. (India 2013b, Art. 5)

Sources indicate that the Supreme Court ordered compensation for survivors of acid attacks, with a maximum payment of 800,000 Indian rupees (INR) [approximately C$14,057] (US 11 Mar. 2020, 43; Gulf News 27 Jan. 2020), for facial disfigurement or if there was damage to more than 50 percent of the body (Gulf News 27 Jan. 2020).

Sources report that the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 recognizes acid attack survivors as physically disabled, meaning survivors can access employment in government and the education sector through disability quotas (The Guardian 11 Apr. 2017; Make Love Not Scars n.d.).

Sources state that hospitals are required to provide free medical treatment to acid attack survivors (Gulf News 27 Jan. 2020; Make Love Not Scars n.d.). Make Love Not Scars, an organization that helps survivors of acid attacks (The Guardian 2 Apr. 2019), indicates that

there are many cases where hospitals, especially private hospitals (that are better equipped to treat burns due to their advanced equipment) refuse or prolong providing treatment or try and work their way around it. This compromises the injuries of the victim and is a reflection of these private hospitals not being reimbursed by … government that has made a law swearing to do so. (Make Love Not Scars n.d.)

Gulf News, a United Arab Emirates-based English newspaper (Gulf News n.d.), quotes a data analyst at the Chhanv [Chaanv] Foundation, an India-based non-profit organization working on the rehabilitation of acid attack survivors (Chhanv Foundation n.d.), as similarly stating that

the government hospitals, where the victims are supposed to get 'free medical treatment', are totally ill-equipped to handle acid burn cases. Free treatment is not possible in private hospitals even today. Only in Delhi, private hospitals provide free treatment to the victims. (Gulf News 27 Jan. 2020)

Sources indicate that the Delhi government began covering the expenses of private hospitals treating acid attack victims in 2018 (The Times of India 10 Oct. 2019; US 11 Mar. 2020, 43).

3. Services, Including in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru

Article 12 of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 provides that "[e]very person who has to file or defend a case shall be entitled to legal services under this Act if that person is— … (c) a woman or a child ..." (India 1987). A chapter on legal aid authored by the Centre for Social Justice (IDEAL) [5] and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) [6] in a report on the Indian justice system indicates that since 1995, "barely" 15 million people have accessed legal aid services nationwide out of "almost" 80 percent of the more than 1.25 billion population eligible for free legal aid (IDEAL and CHRI 2019, 80). The Times of India, an India-based English-language newspaper, quotes Sharad Bobde, a senior judge of India's Supreme Court, as stating that "'I find it startling that the availability of the legal aid couldn't be reached to women, children, Dalits and other marginalized sections despite the fact that about 80% of population is entitled for it'" and further describes access to legal aid as "still a luxury" (The Times of India 18 Aug. 2019). An article on legal aid published in, an India-based online publication focusing on "political and cultural stories" ( 18 Aug. 2017), quotes Audrey D'Mello, a lawyer with Majlis, a "non-profit feminist legal service," as stating that domestic violence is one of the most common type of cases for which legal aid is sought, although the "majority of legal aid lawyers are not experienced in handling such cases" ( 19 May 2018). The 2017 HRW report indicates the following:

Inadequate legal assistance is especially a concern for survivors who come from poor and marginalized communities. A 1994 Supreme Court ruling says that sexual assault victims should be provided legal assistance, and that all police stations should keep a list of legal aid options. While in Delhi there are efforts to ensure this—the Delhi Commission for Women operates a rape crisis cell that coordinates with police stations, even though experts say even this is ad-hoc and not entirely effective—it is rare in other parts of the country, particularly rural areas. (HRW 8 Nov. 2017)

3.1 Delhi

The website of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) indicates that the DCW is a government body with the power of a civil court created by the Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994 and provides services to women in distress, including the following:

  • "'Sahyogini'," a "pre-litigation counseling unit," hears disputes, provides counselling and attempts reconciliation;
  • A telephone helpline offers intervention for cases including rape, by providing counseling, legal advice and a field team for emergencies;
  • Rape Crisis Cell provides legal services to rape victims and their families, including filing the complaint at the police station, ensuring "sensitive handling" of the case by the police, and representing the victim's interest at court;
  • Rape Crisis Interventions Centres (CICs), jointly run by the DCW, the Delhi police and NGOs, provide counselling, medical assistance and financial assistance to the victims and their families; CICs have been set up in eleven districts in Delhi [7] (Delhi 22 July 2015).

Media sources report that the DCW launched a WhatsApp number for complaints of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic (IANS 22 Apr. 2020; Hindustan Times 23 Apr. 2020).

A report on government policies on women's safety in Delhi by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) [8] and Jagori [9] indicates that despite the fact that funding to the DCW has been increasing, it has been "hampered by a lack of resources," which is reflected in "inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of human resources" (CBGA and Jagori 2017, 25-26). The same report quotes the 2015-2016 annual report of the DCW as stating the following:

"The lack of resources coupled with increased workload has created a situation in the Commission where despite the Chairperson and Members of the Commission as well as the staff working round the clock, there remain several aspects of the mandate of the Commission which remain unfulfilled. …

Though the Commission appointed additional staff on short-term emergent basis and also made Saturdays working for all; it continues to be grossly understaffed. Moreover, the Commission faces a severe space crunch, as it has added more programmes. The rooms of the Chairperson and the Members function as work areas for many members of the staff." (CBGA and Jagori 2017, 26)

Media sources indicate that the High Court of Delhi directed the DCW to pay 50 percent of unpaid salaries to 35 of its staff in January 2017, after the staff filed a suit for inclusion in a successful legal petition seeking reimbursement for unpaid salary of 62 DCW staff in December 2016 (ANI 2 Mar. 2017; PTI 18 Jan. 2017).

According to the HLRN report,

[f]or the homeless residents of Delhi, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board [DUSIB] has set up 266 shelters (of which 81 are permanent, 115 are porta cabins, 68 are tents set up for the winter (December to March), and two are temporary subway shelters). Twenty of these shelters are exclusively for women and their children. DUSIB has stated that the combined space in all the 266 shelters can accommodate 21,724 people. While Delhi has the highest number of shelters for the homeless in the country, these are still not sufficient to accommodate its entire homeless population of 100,000-150,000. It is estimated that there are at least 10,000 homeless women in Delhi. … Many shelters in Delhi also have low occupancy because of their uninhabitable state, especially the lack of adequate space for sleeping and storing personal possessions; the absence of cleanliness and hygiene; dirty bedding; the presence of mosquitoes, rats, dust; and the lack of safety and security, especially for women. (HLRN [2017], 3)

The CBGA and Jagori report indicates that

[t]hough the overall distribution of night shelters seems to be more or less consistent with the spatial concentration of the homeless population across districts, the gap between the required number and actual capacity is significantly high in the districts of Central, North, West and particularly South Delhi. The North West and South East districts of Delhi stand out for not having even a single shelter, meant exclusively for women. (CBGA and Jagori 2017, 6-7)

Sources indicate that half of the shelters for women are "porta cabins" (HLRN [2017], 4; Reuters 13 Aug. 2018), or repurposed steel containers (Reuters 13 Aug. 2018). For additional information on shelters for women in India, including shelters for homeless women and working women, see Response to Information Request IND106275 of May 2019.

3.2 Mumbai

Sources indicate that Dilaasa centres were established by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai [and the Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) [10] (ICRW 2018, 14)] in 11 "municipal" (Business Standard 6 Oct. 2018) or "peripheral" (ICRW 2018, 22) hospitals in Mumbai to provide counselling to female victims of violence (Business Standard 6 Oct. 2018; ICRW 2018, 22). A report by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) [11] describes Dilaasa as a "'one-stop crisis center' (OSCC)," which provides "psychosocial and medical support" to victims of domestic violence and rape, referral to social and legal services and the police, and training to health professionals, police and counselors (ICRW 2018, 12, 22). The same report cites an "external evaluation" of Dilaasa as indicating that situating Dilaasa in a public hospital "enhances accessibility and early detection" of violence against women (ICRW 2018, 12). The Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), a network on research on violence against women and children (SVRI n.d.), reports that Dilaasa crisis centres have been declared as "essential health services" and continues to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in-person and telephone counseling (SVRI 20 May 2020).

The article cites officials from the Mumbai District Legal Aid Services as indicating that they receive 40 to 50 cases a day, "mostly related to domestic violence," and another 20 to 30 matters for mediation, but the lawyers can take "only a limited number of cases" ( 19 May 2018). Hindustan Times, an Indian English-language daily newspaper, indicates that the municipal government-operated Savitribai Phule Gender Resource Center (SPGRC) in Elphinstone provides legal assistance to female victims of domestic violence on the first and third Fridays of the month between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (Hindustan Times 22 June 2018). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

3.3 Bengaluru

According to its website, Parihar is a charitable initiative of the Bengaluru City Police providing counselling, police support, medical support, "[r]escue," short-term home stays and legal aid through a team of counsellors, trained volunteers and police officers (Bengaluru n.d.). Media sources report that the Parihar helpline is continuing to receive calls during the COVID-19 pandemic (Deccan Herald 26 Apr. 2020; Bangalore Mirror 3 Aug. 2020). The Hindu, an Indian English-language daily newspaper, states that Parihar receives an estimated 1,500 cases per month and 150 in-person cases, which is handled by six core counsellors with support staff and volunteers, and is unable to hire more staff due to limited funding (The Hindu 18 June 2017). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


[1] Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI) is a "pan-India network" working to provide an "informal forum for women in media professions to share information and resources, exchange ideas, promote media awareness and ethics, and work for gender equality and justice within the media and society" (NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 4).

[2] Gender at Work is an "international feminist collaborative of gender experts" working to "transform organisations, to fundamentally change the rules (and deep structure) and contribute to a new way of thinking" (NWMI and Gender at Work 8 Mar. 2020, 4).

[3] India's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates that the "charge-sheeting rate" is defined as the percentage of cases resulting in charges out of the total cases disposed by the police (India n.d.).

[4] The Indian numbering system, which uses the unit of lakh or 100,000 instead of million (10 lakh), places the comma at every two digits, instead of every three digits [with the exception of the last 3 digits, which are grouped together] (India Today 12 Mar. 2019).

[5] The Centre for Social Justice (IDEAL) is an India-based organization "fighting for the rights of the marginalized and the vulnerable, principally in the sphere of access to justice" through "institutional interventions in legal reform and research" (IDEAL and CHRI 2019, v).

[6] The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an international "independent, non-profit, non-partisan" organization working on human rights in Commonwealth countries (IDEAL and CHRI 2019, v).

[7] Crisis Intervention Centres (CICs) have been set up in North-East Delhi, East Delhi, Central Delhi, North Delhi, North-West Delhi, Outer Delhi, South Delhi, South-West Delhi, West Delhi, South East and New Delhi (Delhi 22 July 2015).

[8] The Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) is a New Delhi-based independent, non-profit policy research organization (CBGA and Jagori 2017, 72).

[9] Jagori is a feminist organization aiming to "deepen feminist consciousness" through "research and knowledge building, perspective development, provision of support services to women survivors of violence, and networking" (CBGA and Jagori 2017, 72).

[10] The Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT) is an institution managed by Anusandhan Trust (AT) focusing on "social and public health research and policy advocacy" (AT n.d.). AT establishes and runs "democratically managed [i]nstitutions," which researches health issues (AT n.d.).

[11] The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a global research institute working to identify "women's contribution" and "obstacles that prevent them from being economically strong and able to fully participate in society" (ICRW n.d.).


Amnesty International. 29 January 2020. "India." Human Rights in Asia-Pacific: Review of 2019. (ASA 01/1354/2020) [Accessed 13 Aug. 2020]

Anusandhan Trust (AT). N.d. "About." [Accessed 17 Aug. 2020]

Asian News International (ANI). 2 March 2017. "DCW Salaries Matter: Delhi HC Orders to Pay Due 25 Percent Salaries to 62 Employees." [Accessed 26 Aug. 2020]

Associated Press (AP). 5 December 2019. "Indian Police Fatally Shoot 4 Suspects in Gang-Rape Case." [Accessed 13 Aug. 2020]

Associated Press (AP). 6 May 2019. "India's Chief Justice Cleared of Sexual Harassment Complaint." [Accessed 27 Aug. 2020]

Australia. 17 October 2018. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). DFAT Country Information Report: India. [Accessed 13 Aug. 2020]

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Bengaluru. N.d. Bengaluru City Police. "Message." [Accessed 18 Aug. 2020]

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Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) and Jagori. 2017. Safety of Women in Public Spaces in Delhi: Governance and Budgetary Challenges. [Accessed 17 Aug. 2020]

Centre for Social Justice (IDEAL) and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). 2019. "Legal Aid: Justice for All?" By Nupur and Madhurima Dhanuka. India Justice Report: Ranking States on Police, Judiciary, Prisons & Legal Aid. Tata Trusts. [Accessed 18 Aug. 2020]

Chhanv Foundation. N.d. "Who We Are." [Accessed 24 Aug. 2020]

Deccan Herald. 26 April 2020. Prajwal Suvarna and Varsha Gowda. "Coronavirus Lockdown: For Domestic Violence Victims, Getting Help Is Tough." [Accessed 18 Aug. 2020]

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