This multidisciplinary project aims to address the gap between law and policy and access to support services and justice for domestic violence victims in India. Despite legal initiatives to combat domestic violence in the country since 2005, civil society reports little progress in reducing the issue. As a result, women are turning to informal, non-legal strategies and networks in order to cope, build resilience and seek justice. The project draws on existing civil society-academic partnerships across three key states: Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Haryana. It seeks to critically examine how domestic violence victims access legal and non-legal services across a continuum of rural-urban sites by engaging participatory and feminist legal research methodology. It is expected that the research approach will (1) enable a better understanding of the socio-economic and political context in which domestic violence takes place, and (2) inform the development of evidence-based policy reform.
Research Team: Dr Philippa Williams, Queen Mary University of London; Professor Shazia Choudhry, Queen Mary University of London; Dr Girija Godbole, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay; Dr Swarna Rajagopalan, Prajnya Trust, India