One day, Vijay arrived announcing he had won a considerable sum of money. To celebrate, he gave Raj money to buy sweets for the family and other essentials. Raj left with the children, leaving Ada alone in the house with Vijay. While Raj was out, Vijay allegedly attempted to sexually assault Ada, but Raj returned unexpectedly. As Raj walked in on the chaos, Vijay picked up a knife, stabbed Ada, and fled the house.
During the subsequent discussions, it was revealed that Raj had borrowed a very large sum of money from Vijay. Both their lives were now being threatened unless they repaid the debt in full. This time the counseling initially focused on recovery from the emotional and mental trauma of these threats. Raj and Ada held the view that the threats and attempted rape were justifiable responses to the debt owed and therefore they must remain silent. Thus reframing and education were provided before further action was discussed. Later Ada and Raj were encouraged to take positive action against the alleged incident, rather than submit to the threats.
One day Ada called the Women’s Empowerment Center to say she was planning to accept a substantial offer to settle the case (about 2.5 times the original debt). Although the offer appeared attractive, Ada was willing to investigate the consequences of acceptance. She then realised that by accepting the offer she would be condoning the actions and so the associated social stigma would not be easily cleansed.
A crucial point in the discussion was the explanation that, through acceptance of the money, Ada became implicated in the actions and so was betraying her moral values. This would naturally affect the values her children formed. The family unit is still of huge importance to many here, especially in Uttar Pradesh. These discussions and the possible ramifications to the family brought Ada to tears. She decided to refuse the ‘compromise settlement’ and instead move forward with a case against Vijay. She is now being assisted by the Women’s Empowerment Center to prepare herself for the court statements. The Center will continue to offer support as needed while Raj and Ada seek a conclusion to the case.