Times of India Group : Include Helpline Numbers in all reports of Domestic violence

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Shreya* had swollen eyes and bruises on her hand when I saw her in the Supermarket. She was trying hard to hide her scars but I felt as if those scars were screaming at her and me.

She used to regularly attend fitness classes with me. She was really enthusiastic about her health. But, all of a sudden she stopped coming.

Initially, I thought that she might be having cold or fever. But as days passed, and she didn’t show up, I knew something was wrong.

One day, she broke down in front of me. She narrated a story that still sends chills down my spine. With a smile on her face, she described how every now and then her husband would beat her black and blue.

She was beaten for burnt rotis, bad food and what not. Some days she was beaten without any particular reason--just to make her realize her position as a woman.

Shreya needed help but didn’t know what to do. What made me sad was the fact that she didn’t even know what she was going through. She has been suffering from domestic violence for more than ten years but didn’t even know the definition of it.

I want to help women like Shreya, who don’t know whom to approach and what to do when they are exposed to domestic violence or abuse.

Government and several NGOs have provided helpline numbers to report domestic violence but most women don’t even know about it. We need to reach out to all such women and make them aware of their rights.

Media can play a great role in letting every woman know about domestic violence helpline numbers. Therefore I am asking the Times Group to include Domestic Violence Helpline numbers every time they report such cases. Sign my petition

By including helpline numbers, every reader will be aware of what to do when they face or even witness domestic violence. This will ensure that such cases are not just being reported but are also not repeated. Adding the helpline number will require very little space, but it will have a very big impact.

According to a report 50-70% of women in India face some form of domestic violence, whereas only 2% of victims approach the police. 57% of boys and 53% of girls aged 15-19 believe that wife-beating is acceptable. We need to change this now.

India has lakhs of Shreyas, who quietly face domestic violence, yet are unaware of it. They have accepted this violence as their fate. We need to stop this. We need to give them hope.

The Times group is India’s biggest and most trusted media house. Their newspapers and their websites are followed by crores of Indians. In the past, the Times group has come up with a lot of initiatives for women.

From organizing P.inc agenda that helps women who took a mid-career break to return to work to other women-friendly initiatives, the Times group has always stood for women. It’s time that they lead the conversation against domestic violence.

The Times logo says ‘Let Truth Prevail’. By including domestic violence helpline numbers, they’ll be telling women the truth. The truth that it’s not their fate to face violence but to speak against it. Sign my petition

As a loyal reader of The Times of India, I want my favorite newspaper to lead by example and help lakhs of women across India. I want the Times of India to not just carry news but hope too.

As you read this petition, there will be a woman sitting in the corner of her room, thinking what is her fault that she is facing violence at home. Let her know that it’s not her fault. Let’s give her hope.

Join me in asking the Times group to help such women. Sign this petition and share it so that together we can convince the Times group to take this small yet huge step against domestic violence.

(*Name Changed)