Legal Aid Center

Gender-based violence is a manifestation of unequal power relations between men and women which have led to the domination over and discrimination against women. Violence denies women the right to survival, well-being and development, yet the fact is that most violence occurs at home and within the most intimate and trusted relationships because of which women often hide violence and continue to suffer in silence. In order to help women facing violence, DMVM initiated a counseling and free legal aid centre in 1990. The centre provides a private and non-judgemental space for women to talk about the violence in their lives and voice their fears and concerns. It also aims to make women aware of their rights to a violence free life. The centre helps women to negotiate better space, become more self-reliant, develop a positive self-image and improve their decision-making capacity. The centre got affiliated to the Maharashtra State Legal Service Authority in 2001, following which linkages were established with NGOs, CBOs, health facilities, vocational training centers, short stay homes, shelter homes, etc. So that comprehensive services could be provided to women through referrals.

The centre was categorised as a service providing organisation under the PWDV Act, 2005 in 2007. Thus far around 13000 women have approached the centre for counseling and legal aid services. Of the women who have visited the centre around. 5000 women have become permanent volunteers with Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal.