“If emergency domestic violence shelters did not exist, the consequences for victims would be dire, including: homelessness, losing custody of children, continued abuse, or death.” (NIJ, 2018)
Most victims of Domestic Violence remain in abusive environments because they do not have a way out of the violence they are facing. There are many reasons why victims often choose to stay or have no choice but to stay in abusive relationships. Reasons such as social stigma, keeping a family together, the upbringing of children, financial needs or even something as basic as a roof over their head make it very difficult for women to break free from abusive relationships. Some cases are extremely dangerous and women need a safe place to escape to.
Through our work over the years, we at Operation PeaceMaker felt an immense need for emergency services for women in crisis. The first step of our endeavours was to set up The Lotus Fund, a startup fund for women who have decided to start a new life free from the abusive relationship.
Operation PeaceMaker is now proud to be extending its support to women in crisis by initiating The Lotus Safe Home. Through the safe home, we aim to assist women in transforming from victims to holistically healthy survivors of domestic violence. It has been proved through multiple studies that domestic violence shelters address essential needs that survivors cannot meet elsewhere. Shelter programs provide a comprehensive array of services to victims of abuse and their children. The most prominent assistance include safety, information, help with children and help with emotional distress. Shelters that accommodate mothers together with their children are very scarce in Hyderabad, and therefore our shelter home will fill a great need.
Through The Lotus Safe Home, Operation PeaceMaker not only provides women with shelter but with counselling services, legal aid and vocational and skills training. Every individual case will be dealt with according to needs and circumstance. Our aim is to provide a loving, peaceful and safe environment for women in crisis. While residing in the Safe Home, the survivors will keep regular appointments with counsellors who will help them to specify their needs and explore possible solutions for the road ahead. This will be aimed at building emotional strength and a concrete plan of action.
The Lotus Safe Home will have the capacity to accommodate 12 women along with their children at any given point of time. They will have a live-in caretaker and the services of Operation PeaceMaker’s counsellors and lawyers to support them. Working women will be able to continue their work, while non-working women will have the option to take up vocational courses of their interest.
By the end of their stay at The Lotus Safe Home, we hope our residents will have found new hope and courage as survivors who are ready to take on a new life with ample support and knowledge.