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Sunday, 2 February 2014

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Over 60,000 cases in 2013:

Domestic violence triples

" Domestic violence has tripled in recent years. Around 25- 35 women visit our Crisis Centre daily for help", Ms. Sumithra Fernando, a spokesperson for Women In Need, (WIN), a leading Non Governmental Organisation which spearheads eliminating domestic violence against women since the 1980s, told the Sunday Observer.

"Last year alone over 60,000 women sought help from WIN centres. There is a 50 percent increase with some areas showing a high of around 60 percent - the biggest number being in Colombo, Anuradhapura, Badulla and Matara."

She said the majority of women were not victims of minor acts of violence, but of horrific violence perpetrated on them mostly by husbands and partners. "There are no specific causes.

Most are related to extra-marital relationships and unequal power control within the family unit. Alcoholism, a contributory factor aggravates the situation.

One reason is that women still remain silent, despite the awareness programs and stay passively within the family in our partiachal society. A change in men's attitude to women could be the answer, and we are working towards that end. But it will take time", she said.

WIN currently runs nine crisis centres islandwide to help victims, and 81 stop centres in hospitals where victims are admitted "Doctors treating them refer them to our Crisis Desks in the hospitals. We help them obtain all the help they need under one roof - from counselling, legal advice to a transit home.

We also run eight Women's Resource Centres to empower the women with coping skills while running educational programs for their children. Counselling Desks have also been set up at six police stations", she said.

Those who need WIN assistance should contact their hotline: 0114718585.

 

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