The Gauravi One-Stop Crisis Centre | ActionAid UK

The Gauravi One-Stop Crisis Centre

The Gauravi One-Stop Crisis Centre is the first of its kind in Madhya Pradesh, India. Supported by ActionAid, it is a shelter and support centre where survivors of sexual and domestic violence can access a suite of services, so that they can recover from trauma and begin to rebuild their lives.

What is the Gauravi Centre?

The Gauravi Centre was established in 2014 in Madhya Pradesh — the Indian state with the highest rate of violence against women and girls.

It was designed as a one-stop shop, where women and girls can access a range of key services when they have experienced sexual and/or domestic violence. These services include a helpline, a safe shelter, medical treatment, counselling and legal aid.

Staff members counsel women and girls sensitively throughout their experience, from providing a safe, secure place to sleep, to finding a lawyer to represent their case. They help women and girls to recover from their trauma, and achieve the justice they deserve.

Madhya Pradesh in India

Madhya Pradesh, India. © Yann Forget / Wikimedia Commons

Why is this kind of centre necessary?

A women or girl reports a rape every 15 minutes in India.

Due to deeply held cultural beliefs in some communities, women and girls can feel pressured to stay silent about their attacks, or even feel as if they themselves are to blame. They may not have the financial means to leave their partner, or access legal services, meaning many cases of abuse go unreported.

But the Gauravi Centre offers the full range of services for survivors of violence — all under one roof. Many of the staff members at Gauravi are survivors of violence themselves. They often form strong bonds with the women and girls who access the services, keeping in touch for years to come, and providing sensitive, comprehensive care that helps survivors recover from trauma.

What about stopping the violence before it happens?

The Gauravi Centre doesn’t just provide aftercare for survivors of violence. 

It also runs outreach work in the wider community, in order to break down stigmas and change attitudes. This includes holding talks in schools and colleges where participants find out how to report abuse and what their rights are. 

Centre workers also train police officers to ensure cases are dealt with promptly and sensitively. They work with lawyers to ensure surivors get justice and perpetrators are held to account. Together, this sends a powerful message to community members about the rights of women and girls - and begins to break the cycle of violence.

They also run programmes to help women become financially independent, including a scheme to train women to become auto-rickshaw (tuk-tuk) and bus drivers — a profession that is usually seen as male-only. And they support families to get government funding to continue girls’ education, so that girls can grow up with a better knowledge of their rights. 

[1] Based on 38,947 reported rapes in 2016. Source: 2016 India National Crime Record Bureau, p.xix

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Footnotes

Page updated 6 November 2018