Help women stand up against domestic violence by Majlis Manch

Help women stand up against domestic violence

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Amina fights her abusive husband in court to get custody of her daughter

Amina was married to Abdul.** After her wedding, she came to know that he was unemployed and hardly earned anything. He spent his days as a local goon.**

He never provided for the family. He started to harass her for dowry. As Amina and her family could not give in to the dowry demands, he started to physically abuse her. Soon, her in-laws also started to abuse her.

She suffered all the abuse silently. In the course of time, she got pregnant. Throughout her pregnancy neither Amina husband nor her in-laws cared for her. After a hard pregnancy, she gave birth to a baby girl who she named Rubina.

After Rubina was born, Abdul abandoned them. With nowhere to go, Amina moved to her parent's home. Amina now glad that she was out of Abdul clutches, decided to raise Rubina herself. She started working. She enrolled her in school and was determined to give her an education.

Life was going by until one day when she returned from work and spotted Abdul playing with Rubina!

Worried about their safety, she contacted Majlis. Majlis intervened by filing a police complaint against Abdul. They moved the court for urgent injunction orders restraining him from taking Rubina.

At court, Abdul contended that after 7 years Amina could not claim maintenance. Majlis retaliated that there are no time limitations on her right to claim maintenance under Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

The court passed positive orders in Amina favor for maintenance, custody, and protection.

Now Amina and Rubina are finally free and safe from Abdul.

With counseling and legal assistance domestic violence victims like Amina can regain their confidence and rebuild their lives.

Your help can transform many more lives like those of Amina. You can donate so that underprivileged domestic victims get legal aid. You can give with confidence because every program listed is GIVEASSURED.


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About The Program

What the beneficiary gets
What you get
Tax Exemption
Periodic Reports
Program Description

Majlis Legal Centre, through its program 'Rahat' provides socio-legal support to victims of sexual and domestic abuse.

In the first response, the all-women team of lawyers and social workers meets victims and understands their needs, offers legal consultation and presents them with the pre-litigation and litigation options available as well as the pros and cons of their case.

Documents, procedures, and processes are explained to them so that they can take an informed decision.

The survivor is informed about the availability of legal services, public & private schemes such as shelter, education, medical, legal aid, etc.

Further legal help is also given as required in the case. Donations to this program will be used for legal documentation and processes expenses as well as personnel salaries of lawyers fighting for sexual violence victims.

When you donate to this program, your help will ensure that the domestic violence victims have access to lawyers who will fight for them.

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About The NGO

Majlis Manch
Majlis Manch Logo
Majlis Manch

Majlis Manch is a Public Trust and an NGO headed by renowned Advocate and Women's Rights Activist, Flavia Agnes.

Majlis started in 1991 as a response to a growing need for lawyers with a gender perspective who are dedicated to evolving innovative legal practices to defend women's rights.

Majlis had started by providing legal support and guidance to women facing domestic violence to access their rights and pursue justice in courts. They further extended support to women and child victims of sexual violence as well as sexual harassment at the workplace.

They are also involved in training, research, campaigns, and publications on issues concerning violence against women and children. They work to demystify laws and make them accessible to judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police, NGOs and other government and non-government representatives and most importantly, to women themselves.

The broad categories of their programs are as follows:


Rahat (for sexual violence, domestic violence, and social support)

Training and Awareness

Policy interventions and public campaigns


Publications on women's legal rights and Research

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Founded in 1991
NGO Leadership

Audrey Dmello

areas of operation
Area of Operation
Area of Operation

Sexual Abuse | women

location of work
Location of Work
Location of Work


last audited
Last Audited
Periodic Compliance Checks by GiveIndia

Renewals FY 19-20

Program Updates

Program Updates

23 January, 2023

Half Yearly Impact Report


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Milestones achieved: Provided Legal Support to more than 80,000 women and children in Maharashtra (primarily in Mumbai City, Mumbai Suburban and Thane Districts) Provided Social Support to more than 1,00,000 women and children in Maharashtra (primarily in Mumbai City, Mumbai Suburban and Thane Districts) *The beneficiaries are from the most marginalised sections of society across religion, class and caste. Capacity building programmes, awareness trainings, certificate courses State Police Officers: more than 30,000 Judiciary: more than 2000 Medical Officers: more than 2000 Protection Officers: more than 200 Child Welfare Committees: more than 100 Public Prosecutors: more than 100 Non State Colleges more than 100 colleges and more than 20,000 youth Schools more than 50 schools and more than 10,000 children and parents. CBOs more than 300 organisations and more than 50,000 social workers and community women. Formal collaborations with 20 NGOs and CBOs. Major events: On 12th Mar 2022 our founder Flavia Agnes received an Award of appreciation from the Millat Nagar Ladies wing Jamaat e Islami Hind on the occasion of International Women's Day. In Mar-2022 five students of BITSoM's (School of Management pioneering batch volunteered with Majlis to review our marketing communications and our MIS. Bangtan Boys, a South Korean boy band (BTS) organised a fundraiser ?No Means No? for Majlis to the cause of victims of sexual harassment on the ocassion of birthdays of their two members J Hope and Suga. We truly appreciate their effort. Between March 8 and 12, 2022 Purplle (an online womens store) tied up with Majlis to celebrate international women's day. Ms Yami Gautam the ambassador to the initiative is an actor who championed the cause of violence against women and children. Cities, regions, areas etc covered: Mumbai City and Suburb, Navi Mumbai and Thane. Number of people impacted directly/indirectly: During the reporting period we provided 11 First Response, 6 Social support and 2 Legal support to cases of Domestic violence

Challenges faced and next steps

During the course of our work at the ground level while interacting with women in Courts, Police Stations, Protection Officers, etc. we identified important issues / hurdles faced by women when they access justice. However, on several occasions, our team has been confronted by those against whom issues have been raised, especially since we have to continue working with the same stakeholder to appear before the same judge. Sometimes, the judges ask our lawyers in court during the hearing of a case as to why we have approached the High Court with a complaint against her and that we don?t understand the problems she faces. We recognize that there can be a backlash, and our client?s interest may suffer, but overall, we see this as an important campaign issue. It is an on-going process and often it takes time to see a change. But on many occasions we have seen positive developments in response to our letters.

Stories from the ground

At Majlis we are often asked how long does a legal case take. And we say, sometimes it can take a lifetime. Anarkali is one such case. Anarkali hails from Kotigaon village in UP. In 1984 at the tender age of ten, she was married off to a man who died a year later. So she was remarried to his younger brother, as was the custom of the community. The husband was studying but Anarkali was never sent to school. In 1990 her husband moved to Mumbai to work with his father. Shortly thereafter, Anarkali also came to Mumbai, but her husband showed no interest in her as she was rustic and uneducated. She was shunned, abused, beaten and tortured. Her husband would constantly force her to go back to the village, but each time she managed to return. In 1999 Anarkali found out that her husband was going to get married to another woman. She therefore approached the Special Cell for Women and Children, Kandivali. She was then referred to the Bhandup Police Station who accompanied her and stopped the marriage. Her husband and his family were enraged. They assaulted Anarkali brutally and she managed to save her life only because of the help of her neighbors. The police filed a mere NC* in spite of this brutal attack. In February 2000 her husband secretly went to the village and got married. Anarkali was devastated. She had no source of income, no roof over her head and no support from her family. So what could she do? Anarkali?s husband left the home and started residing with his new wife. Her father-in-law tried to throw her out of the house. He would harass her daily both physically and mentally. Switch off the fans during summer, beat and abuse her, deny her food, etc.. Anarkali approached AIDWA*, an NGO who helps women, and with a lot of encouragement and support she agreed to file the case in court. So she was referred to Majlis. In 2000 we filed a case on her behalf against her husband and father-in-law in the Family Court, Bandra to help Anarkali secure her rights (this was before the passing of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005). We prayed before the court that Anarkali should be allowed to reside in her matrimonial home peacefully without violence and that her husband, who was working in Ceat Ltd and earning about Rs. 16,000 per month, should pay her maintenance. We got a temporary interim order of injunction and maintenance. The other side tried every trick in the book to deny her prayers. They claimed that Anarkali was never married to her current husband and that he was providing for her out of the goodness of his heart as she was his brother?s widow. They also denied that the house in Mumbai was her matrimonial home and insisted she resided in the village. They tried their best to make Anarkali look like a scheming woman who wanted to grab their property. Despite their best efforts, the judge saw through all their tactics. We got a favorable final order in October 2007. An injunction restraining her father-in-law from throwing her out of the matrimonial home and to allow her peaceful occupation. We also got a maintenance order of Rs. 1500 per month. But the battle was not over yet. The torture continued, but by now Anarkali was more confident to deal with it. She would seek the help of the police if they harassed her. Her husband would not pay her maintenance regularly and in 2018 he completely stopped. Majlis again approached the court to file a recovery application for the maintenance arrears. We have been doing this each year since. Since Anarkali?s expenses were mounting we again approached the court with an enhancement application in January 2019. We prayed to the court to increase her maintenance from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 20000 as her husband's earnings had increased many fold. Just last week in February 2021 we got a favorable order. Her maintenance was enhanced to Rs. 3000. Anarkali is still the na�ve village girl who finds it difficult to navigate the city. She has grown in little ways. With the help of her neighbors she is able to send WhatsApp messages to us about her court dates. She travels to court on her own, albeit nervously. She does small jobs at a nearby factory. At the last court hearing she spoke confidently before the judge. Her father- in-law has passed away, but her younger brother-in-law and his wife live in the house. The skirmishes continue but the timely court order protects her crucial right of residence. Ms Sugandhi Francis from AIDWA who has been a constant support to Anarkali since the beginning says ?not a week goes by where Anarkali does not call to update me about her life in her melodious singsong way. I have so much respect for her, inspite of being illiterate she has stood strong.? It is because of the support from individuals and organisations that victims of violence are able to enforce their rights and become survivors. For us at Majlis, it's 22 years and counting?

31 May, 2022

Help women stand up against domestic violence


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

Milestones - Majlis team of women lawyers represents women in court in matters of domestic violence and sexual violence abuse across Maharashtra. We completed 30 years working in the field of women’s legal rights. Events - i) On 25th November 2021, Majlis received Tejaswini award 2021, honouring every little step taken towards Violence against Women and Girls on 25th November 2021 by Earth NGO. ii) On 5th December 2021, Ms. Flavia Agnes, founder of Majlis received Laadli Media and Advertising Awards for Gender Sensitivity 2021. Areas covered - Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburbs Number of people impacted - Legal Consultation - 12 victims, Social Support - 9 victims and Legal cases - 4 cases Impacted - i) Through our consultations we provide detailed information relating to her rights / legal options under the law, procedures, time-frame, methods for evidence collection, emergency response and possible long-term solutions. We focus on the specific needs, circumstances, consent and expectations of each victim. ii) We provide social support such as shelter, counseling, documentation, vocational training etc, which enabled them to overcome the hurdles that prevent them from accessing justice. iii) We represented the women in the Magistrate’s Courts. We ensured that the dignity and comfort of the victim is protected at all times. Our lawyers helped our clients secure reliefs from court such as protection from further violence, protection to stay in their marital residence, maintenance for daily expenses, custody of children, and compensation for injuries.

Challenges faced and next steps

Challenges faced i)Lack of uniformity – As courts resumed functioning after the lockdown, it was observed that there was no uniformity with respect to procedures for the filing of petition/applications, service of summons, an appearance by parties, etc. Due to this, Advocates and victims had to repeatedly visit each court to ascertain the procedure followed. Not only did these repeated court visits cause an inordinate delay in the progress of the case but they also repeated exposed Advocates and victims to crowded courts during Covid 19 times. ii) Judicial delay – In several cases, long dates had been given by Magistrate Courts and Family Courts in urgent matters relating to maintenance, domestic violence and execution proceedings. There had already been a delay due to the lockdown and this further delay due to long court dates was causing severe hardships to the victims. iii) Apathy of the Police towards victims of domestic violence. This is a continuing challenge. In several cases, the Police refuses to register an N.C or written complaint against the husband when the wife approaches the Police Station for immediate assistance. Instead they call her husband to the Police Station and counsel the parties. This leads to loss of crucial evidence and weakens the victim’s position as her husband gets emboldened due to the inaction of the Police. Covid related hurdles - i) Providing emergency shelter ii) Registration of FIR/NC at Police Stations iii) Employment even though this was a challenge during the lockdown we managed to secure jobs for women such as patient care, housekeeping, administrative staff, etc. iv) During the lockdown, providing ration, groceries and hygiene equipment to victims with the assistance of other organisations Overcome - i) We raised issues related to lapses in implementation of the law to ensure effective mitigating responses and to participate in various committees /discussions and make recommendations to relevant authorities and stakeholders. ii) iv) Instilling confidence in victims through the working of our all-women team of experienced lawyers, social workers and administrators who are sensitive, knowledgeable and experienced to ensure that the system provides justice to victims. Goals for the program - i) We aim to transform victims from survivors to self-sufficient women and or socially abled children, as the case may be. ii) Helping to bridge gaps in victims’ legal needs and social needs. iii) Ensuring that State and non-State stakeholders provide effective support to victims and take responsibility for the prevention of violence against women and children by strictly implementing relevant laws.

Stories from the ground

Often stories emerge about how a young married woman is tormented by her in-laws and how the harassed woman emerges as a survivor. Fatima’s story is, however, the flip side of the usual narrative. Fatima, a senior citizen, a simple woman lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. All she ever wanted was to live a peaceful and happy life with her family. But fate was not in her favour. Fatima and her husband, with their meagre earnings and humble living, managed to bring up their three children. Fatima got both her daughters married. However, Fatima’s son never bonded with the family despite her best efforts. He never supported his parents even during dire circumstances. Fatima hoped that with time, he would become responsible. She got him married. Soon Fatima’s son forced her and her husband to sell their ancestral property and hand over huge sums of money to him to buy a flat. Thereafter, her son started forcing Fatima and her husband to relinquish their rights in their present home. He started verbally and mentally abusing Fatima and her husband over trivial issues. He went to the extent of physically abusing her, thereby causing her immense anguish. To add to her torment, Fatima’s son did not allow her to cook in the house nor provide her and her husband with food. He would repeatedly threaten to commit suicide and put the blame on her if she did not comply with his demands. Even though he was earning handsomely, he forced Fatima to pay all the utility bills of the house, as a measure to torture her and drive her and her husband out of the home. Fatima’s husband is old and frail. His health was failing. Fatima’s health was also deteriorating due to the daily torture and stress. Thus, every day used to be a struggle; without any hope. Fatima approached various forums to redress her grievance and lodged multiple police complaints. Even during counselling sessions and enquiries at the Police Station, Fatima’s son and daughter-in-law exhibited unrepentant behaviour. None of the grievance redressal measures gave her solace and the harassment continued unchecked and uncontrolled. As the last hope of recouping dignity to her life, Fatima approached Majlis. Fatima’s plight was evident. The legal team of Majlis counselled her on the various legal rights available to her and urged her to seek remedies from a Court. Immediately, an Application under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was filed seeking protection, residence, maintenance and compensation orders. The legal team of Majlis ensured that the case progressed without any delay or glitches. Our legal team highlighted to the Court the dire straits in which Fatima had been thrust into by her own son and daughter-in-law. Looking at the circumstances, the Court was pleased to pass a protection order in favour of Fatima directing her son not to commit any acts of domestic violence upon her. The Court was also pleased to pass an order directing her son not to dispossess her from the house and pay her monthly maintenance. Today, Fatima is secure due to the favourable orders of the Court. Her son is unable to harass, threaten and intimidate her. Fatima is slowly regaining the dignity which she had lost. She can focus on her health and feels confident about her future.

23 March, 2021

Transforming Victims into Survivors


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The sudden imposition of the national lockdown, resulted in scores of victims of domestic violence being “locked in their homes with their perpetrators”. It gave women no time to decide if they wanted to move out or devise a safety plan for themselves. Also, organisations working with victims of domestic violence had no prior opportunity to formulate a strategy for these victims. Some of the immediate initiatives undertaken by Majlis after the lockdown for victims of domestic violence are:
Rapid Safety Assessment:
As soon as the lockdown was imposed, we conducted a rapid safety assessment of the victims that we were already providing social support and legal representation. Victims residing with the perpetrators (eg: husbands) were identified as more vulnerable. The team immediately contacted them to ensure their well-being, counsel them and provide them with information / contacts details in the event of domestic violence.
Support in existing cases:
The Majlis team has been in regular communication with these women as per their requirement and consent. We arranged for phone counselling, provided legal advice and updates, assisted with travel and transportation, emergency shelter, registration of FIR/NC and medical assistance. It is pertinent to note that these women have cases pending in Court and most of them are empowered by an order of the Court (for protection, residence, maintenance, child custody, etc). This provides immense confidence to these women to stand up to the perpetrator and protect themselves. It is also a deterrent to the perpetrator who fears action by the Court.
Majlis Helpline Number:
We started using our office mobile number as a “Helpline Number” for women to reach out to us. We provided this number to all our partner NGOs, CBOs, etc. We circulated the same on several forums and platforms to enable women to reach out to us. We received several queries by e-mail every day. Broadly, the assistance sought by victims on the helpline / by email is as follows:
Emergency assistance due to an ongoing episode of domestic violence
Requirement of urgent shelter
How to obtain permission to travel as they cannot continue to reside with the perpetrator
Assistance with the Police for registration of NC / FIR due to an incident of violence
Legal advice on steps to be taken to file a case against the perpetrator
Anxious about their pending legal proceedings as Courts have not been functioning during the lockdown
Mental Health Support

5 August, 2020

Neeta – A story of bravery


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Neeta – A story of bravery

Neeta used to work as a hair dresser on movie and serial shoots. There she got acquainted with the accused who started pursuing her. Neeta’s mother is visually impaired and her father passed away few years back. The accused worked in the same place as the victim. They got acquainted and he started pursuing the victim for a relationship. During this time, once when the victim went to his house to pick up her medicines, in an inebriated state, he held her down and brutally raped her. As she was scared, she did not talk about this incident to anyone as he promised her that he would marry her one day. During this period, once the brother of the accused also attempted to rape her but she ran away. The accused then convinced her to not file a case against his brother. The accused then started harassing the victim and coerced her into a relationship. He even went to her mother and maligned the victim’s name resulting in victim’s mother throwing her out of the house. The victim now only had the support of the accused. The victim was suffering from typhoid and had no one to support her so she contacted the accused in the hope that as he had promised her of marriage, he would take her to the hospital. To her repeated requests, the accused called her to an isolated area where he was accompanied with a woman who he introduced to the victim as her sister-in-law and an infant. When the victim started talking about her marriage to the accused, the accused violently hit her head with a rock leaving her in a semi-conscious state. After that, he tied her to the motorcycle and dragged her for a kilometre leaving her in a grievously injured state. The victim was found by a police officer who then admitted her to a hospital.After her statement was taken in the hospital, an FIR came to be filed. When Neeta came to our office, she revealed to us about the incidence of sexual assault which she could not report to the police as she was an injured state. A representative of Majlis went to Virar Police Station as the old FIR was registered there to report the incident of rape. But they were met with drastic hostility and insisted that the matter should be reported to the police station in whose jurisdiction the incident of rape had happened. But it was pointed out to the police that it is the duty of the police to file a zero FIR and transfer to the respective police station with jurisdiction of the matter as it is traumatizing for the victim to keep traveling from one police station to another. The FIR was finally filed at midnight. We continue to support Neeta with her medical aid and her vocational training as she has now lost her employment. The accused is arrested. Neeta is much stronger today and does not shy away from approaching the police alone also.

22 July, 2019


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Program Update

  1.    On 5th January 2019, Santosh Shinde was invited to speak with Majlis team about the Juvenile Justice Act. He is member of the State Commission for Child Rights and former Child Welfare Committee member. He clarified misconceptions about the same in a lucid manner.

  2. Organised monthly meetings with partner organisations working in the area of child sexual abuse like our team and the Childline Foundation had a meeting on 5th March 2019. The agenda was to update case status and discuss strategies. Discussed challenges faced by them with stake holders under POCSO Act and IPC in relation to cases of child sexual abuse.

  3. On 18th March 2019, Majlis conducted Police Training on 'Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012' at Thane Rural.The aim was to facilitate capacity-building of officers and constables, appointed as members of the POCSO Special Cells at every police station. The focus of the training was to ensure that participants were acquainted with legal knowledge and best practices to be followed at the time of registration of FIR, recording of victim statement, and investigation. Participants were sensitized to ensure that the comfort, dignity and best interest of the victim is upheld at all times.

Story from the field

This is the story of Anjali a lady in 30's who was a victim of domestic violence.The reminiscence of her case is as follows; She had an abusive husband who claimed himself to be a practicing Brahmin pundit, but had none of the traits. He was so appalling that he used to make her lick his spit. His abuse extended so far as to even beat and rape her in front of the child. Anajli’s husband neither provided for her daily expenses nor their child. He would often threaten to kick them out of the house. When she tried to work and earn some money, he again beat her. Neglect, humiliation, violence and abuse had been a part of Anjali’s everyday life.
Even though the violence kept increasing, Anjali’s spirit was unbroken. She started looking for help and went to multiple NGOs and the police. Through an associate NGO, Anjali came to Majlis in 2014 to claim legal recourse. We filed Anjali’s case under the Domestic Violence Act of 2005 to obtain protection, maintenance and residence reliefs. We advised her to return to the self-owned house with assistance from the associate NGO. We secured protection orders, but by then her husband sold the house to an old man and his son, and threw out her belongings from the rented premise.
Along with the associate NGO, we urged Anjali to return to the self-owned house, where the associate NGO stayed outside the house day and night to ensure her safety.
This was one of the most contested litigation for a poor lady considering as many as 9 cases were there. With the help and support of Majlis she managed to sustain this kind of harsh litigation.
Her husband used every single trick in the book to prolong the litigation and harass Anjali. He even went so far as to modify his contention of abuse from our client which caused injury to his eye making him unable to work. His fabricated medical proof from private medical did not stand in court. The court saw through his fictitious allegation and passed an order in our favor. He went and appealed against this order. During the course of these proceedings he filed Habeus corpus when she sent their son to the village for his well-being. Later in the trial court he did not appear, and on the arguments from our lawyers, the court proceeded and closed his cross to which he again filed an appeal. This was disposed off in our favor in 3 dates again over a period of a month max. This did not end here. He took the matter to HC. We pleaded to the trial court to proceed as he had not secured any stay as per Bombay high court guidelines on DV. The court proceeded and passed final orders on 3 April 2018 giving reliefs in our favor.
The 4 year long battle against her husband’s didn’t end here. He filed an appeal again on the pretext of not getting an opportunity to defend himself. The matter is pending and he recently asked the court for the matter to be referred for mediation just to stall our execution proceedings. He did not press on his stay application for time being as that would mean he has to pay an amount in court to proceed with appeal. He even tried playing the Brahmin ploy and the court clearly stated it did not care if he's a Brahmin, a Hindu, a Muslim or a Dalit and the court stated that mediation will not affect proceedings in any court and we can go ahead with execution process. This was a great thing as usually courts stall proceedings. However this matter will take long. With the help and support of Majlis she managed to sustain this kind of harsh litigation. We also have seen her empowered in the process with a lot more faith and confidence. We don't see those tears any more in her eyes. That's a victory for us.

Attached is a photo from our office

What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?10
What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date8
Village/City/State where project is locatedMumbai City
Total Budget for the project for FY18-19135600
Total Expenses for the project YTD136027