Responding to issues of violence against women is difficult because of the mindsets, biases and non-co-operative societal attitudes towards this issue. The cases of atrocities on women are seldom reported because people fear that it would only bring dishonor to the family. In situations where the matter gets reported, the possibility of getting justice remains dismal. This is because, like other forms of oppression VAW is also a systemic violation of women’s rights and dignity. With patriarchal values pervading all the spheres, walks and systems of the society, women end up being sidelined and marginalized. Considering the exigency to respond to such issues, the MNSY has provision of Women Helpline for each District in Bihar. It is a unit within the system of the government, which is committed to respond to the critical needs of the victims of violence.
The First Women HELPLINE was established in Patna in September 1999 as a crisis intervention center for women in distress. At present, Women Helplines are functional in all 38 Districts of state.
The problems and needs of women are numerous; however Women HELPLINE restricts itself to the issues of violence against women as its area of intervention. While Women HELPLINE is focusing on the issues of VAW, the long-term objective of Women HELPLINE is to establish a supportive network which can respond to every need of women by using the potential available within the system itself.
Women HELPLINE is committed to respond to the needs of the victimized women in every manner possible. The Women HELPLINE scheme is to respond to both practical and strategic needs of the issue at hand. It is to be understood that our ultimate goal is to realize a gender-just and violence free society.
Keeping these objectives in mind the Women HELPLINE is working on two levels i.e. provision of direct basic services to women in need and working towards the ideological shift in the favour of a gender-just society.
Every district of Bihar is to have one Helpline. Presently these are functional in 38 districts of Bihar.