In November 2014, Sathya Sai Maa Shakti Dayini ended a solid month of casework and counseling by hosting the center’s formal launch. Held on November 30th, the inauguration established Shakti Dayini as part of the official support network available to women in Varanasi, thus making the valuable services on offer more accessible and more widely known in Varanasi.
This month there were 30 new cases opened covering domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault and dowry related violence. In addition, counseling was offered to 67 women and girls at the center premises, and 117 calls were fielded on the 24 hour hotline.
The counseling staff at the center have been chosen because of their expertise across a broad range of possible circumstances. Some of these are more predominant in India than in the average Western community. For example, in many areas of India domestic violence is not seen as a crime. Therefore police stations will not file complaints from women, even when serious sexual or physical assault is involved. The knowledge and persistence of our counselor familiar with this area has ensured police action is taken when needed, as well as providing a role model to the women on pursuing their rights.