BEMBALA: Being there for a survivor

Does your maid experience any violence at home? Maybe it is not violence but just abuse? Or alcoholism ?

Is your co-worker struggling to make sense of her spiraling marriage?

Is your neighbor feeling unwanted, disrespected or manipulated?

We finally have an answer after years of not being able to effectively help women reaching out to us having experienced violence of some sort. The term violence seems to suggest physical harm – but emotional and mental harm are equally harmful and people need to be helped.

It is to address this very issue that we have begun helping an increasing number of women through our Bembala initiative. Bembala in Kannada means “support for the backbone” and that is exactly what we are. Women can walk in any state but we hope to let them emerge strong enough to take on the next chapter of their lives – be it continuing in their existing circumstance or making changes to them.

Our Neighborhood Survivor’s Story:
I sat cringing on the floor watching my 18 month playing, trying not to yell with the pain each time the slipper hit my head….my neck….my arm, pretending this was normal. I realised that day that I did not want my daughter growing up thinking this was acceptable. Was I not worth more? I walked out.

Today I’m an entrepreneur, a single mother, a happy woman. I laugh, I feel safe, I travel, I hang out with friends. I am worth more. It wasn’t easy. Each day has its trials. I wonder how I will grow old alone or how I will pay the next round of fees. But I survive.

I sit, relaxed watching my daughter doing her homework; growing up knowing she is worth the world and nothing less. This is my success!

Bembala is now a month old and rearing to go! Come join us to celebrate being there for the women who need us and for each other.

Bembala Center Update:
The center at Vydehi Hospital has a center manager and two befrienders available during working hours. There is a sense of satisfaction when the survivors leave the center with better clarity and a feeling of empowerment.

Community Outreach:
Bol Sakhi : Survivors, stories, camaraderie
At the heart of Bol Sakhi are women sharing their stories like friends creating support and giving strength.
Centred around the befriender concept at our center in Vydehi hospital, Bol Sakhi encourages women to break the silence in a non-judgmental space that holds the power to inspire thought-provoking dialogue, create awareness and build mutual trust by sharing their stories.

Bol Sakhi literally translated means ‘Speak Friend’ and that is exactly what we are going to do. Creating a society that has zero tolerance towards violence, by uniting women’s strength and encouraging those facing violence to seek support; find empowerment; and build safe lives for themselves.

Please read more here. And more importantly, let no one suffer alone!



Support Citizen Matters - independent, Reader-funded media that covers your city like no other.DONATE
About Ritu George 25 Articles
The author has not yet added any personal or biographical info to her or his author profile.