Afonso

Objective

  • To provide counselling services to families in distress.
  • To assist individuals affected by family violence with legal and other support services.
  • To sensitize police and public with the issue of family violence.
  • To advocate for policy changes in the future.

Background and Progress
Family violence is a major public health issue. Sangath’s services for families in distress, which began in 2003, have continued with the same vigour and enthusiasm.

In 2007, Sangath was registered as a service provider under the Domestic Violence Act for North Goa district. As part of this program, the Sangath counselor (Prachi Khandeparkar) works closely with police, lawyers and the judiciary, counselling the families and providing the required reports to the court when required. We received referrals from individuals, lawyers, other organizations and the police. Most of the cases seen were related to issues of child custody, incompatibility, court matters, child abuse, and neglect and violence by spouse.

The therapy involved both individual and joint sessions. Prachi also offers her services at the Goa State Commission for Women and submits reports to the district and sessions court in matters of child custody and to the Judicial Magistrate First Class for cases referred under the Domestic Violence Act (2005). In addition, regular training programs and sensitization workshops for community members, police and other professionals on topics related to women and children were conducted.

Future Plans
The future plan of the program is to sustain the services provided currently. We also plan to develop a sustainable intervention package to work with victims of violence, working with the community in terms of prevention and rehabilitation of survivors of domestic violence