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Query from: Anon, Somewhere , 07/17/05
Topic: MARRIAGE      Submitted on: Ammas.com
Subject: Destitute women's shelter in Bangalore,

I have just ended my 5 year marriage to an extremely abusive husband. I had a baby last month and am currently in the US. I want to leave US and go to Bangalore as soon as my baby is old enough to fly. I would like to know of any destitute women's shelter in Bangalore, that will give my baby and me shelter, until I can find a job and support us. I have some work experience in software, but I am prepared to take any kind of job that will help me take care of my baby.

I need to go to a shelter as I have no family support. Most organizations that I've called only support widows or women without education. Since I have a university degree, I've been 'disqualified' by these groups for support. The fact that I've been physically and emotionally abused by my 'husband' and his family, the fact that I have no family support from my parents and siblings, the fact that I've been thrown out in the streets and am unemployed doesn't matter to them, because I have a college degree. This is INSPITE of me pleading with them (over the phone) that I won't stay on forever, and that I already have job skills and temporarily (not more than a month) need a safe place to stay in.

My parents have flat out told me that I should 'stand on my own 2 feet'. Well, I'm ready to do so, all that I need is a place to stay in till I can find a job to support my newborn and myself. I even told my parents that I would pay rent with the savings I carry and if that's not enough, pay them back once I get a paycheck. My aunts, uncles and cousins have told me that they don't want to 'interfere' in this 'domestic affair'. My FIL has influential friends that can help him seize my baby from me. I was a loner during my school & university days and have no great friends from that time. I really am my own.

I leave for Bangalore next month. I would really like to know of any places that I could turn to, for help. I carry some savings with me, but not much and I'd run through it within a week if I stay at a hotel.

Please help. Thanks.

Top experts' rating:   Rate = 3.5 (10 ratings)
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Response from: TT TT,   
Registered Member on Ammas.com
Dearest one, I am so sorry you have had to suffer so much. Congratulations on walking out. There are very few womens shelters in India and it may be difficult to find one. Before you leave for Bangalore I suggest you get the help of an organisation in the US.

Please try http://www.manavi.org/… or http://www.sakhi.com/…. They have a great deal of experience with helping South Asian women survivors of domestic violence and may even be able to recommend somewhere in Bangalore. They will also help you with legal advice.

I hope you do get legal advice if you haven't already. This is of utmost importance.

You can also try Vimochana, a women's organisation in Bangalore. I found two addresses for them: Vimochana, 33/1-9 Thyagraj Layout, JaiBharath Nagar, Bangalore 560033. Phone: 080-25492782 / 781. Email: ********@*****.*** and 2124, 16th B Main, 1st A Cross, HAL II Stage, Bangalore - 560038. Phone: +91-80-2526 9307, 2529 6191 I don't think they have a shelter of their own but they should be able to provide you with advice on whether a shelter is available.

Good luck sweetheart and write back if you can to let us know how you and the baby are doing.

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Response from: Sonali ,   
Council Member on Ask Agent
Hi there, are you sure you want to go back to India? Especially when its obvious you parents and family are not going to be supportive to you. Aren't you more likely to give a better life to your child over here in the US. There are many homes here that would take care of you till you are able to stand on your own feet. And will give you emotional support as well. Emotionally you are always going to be scared of the threat of your FIL seizing your child is always there. Legally you would be better protected over here. Also you are probably entitled to child support which can help you. But more than anything else, I don't think that atmosphere is good for your baby. To answer your question, I don't believe there are any institutitons in India similar to what you are thinking you would like. On a final note since I cannot comprehend why you would want to go back to India when nothing is conducive to you child's welfare, in case you didnt know, a battered woman is one of the criteria that you are allowed to get citizenship in this country without the support of your husband, so you may want to consult a lawyer on this. You may need proof like a police report or something. Also I'm assuming your son is a US citizen which will also work in your favor. Do some research on the internet, approach a lawyer who knows about domestic abuse situations and some immigration laws. Hope some of the information is useful to you if you were not aware of it

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Response from: Pratibha Purani,   
Registered Member on Ammas.com
Dear Brave girl, You have the strength to withstand anything because you have your wits and the strong need to support your kid. God bless you. After reading about your situation and understanding that your options are pretty low. I would suggest that based on your experience in software field, apply for a job in bangalore from here itself. They do that all the time. They take phone interviews and finalize everything. There are so many small or big companies in Bangalore. Definately some or other company will hire you. Try for towns and cities around Bangalore too just for sake of trying. Once you get a job(hopefully) you can even ask for accomodation money and arrangements after telling the Human resources people about your situation. Or based on the salary you will get you can make rental arrangments accordingly. Besides this advice the only other thing that comes to my mind is that whatever caste/sect you belong to, if you can goto the temple related to that and ask for safe haven. You can get some help. There are usually families in such mutt's so it should be a decent,clean and safe place for you. Good luck dear. Do let us know how things turned out for you. God be with you and your kid.

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Response from: Geetha Gopakumar,   
Council Member on Ammas.com
It is too unfortunate that this happened to you. I presume that you have had a rough start from the beginning of married life. Your hubby and his relatives clearly shows signs of inconsistency what ever be the cause. Abusive relationships are not going to help you build a lasting bond of love.

Nobody has the right to beat you/torture/abuse at any where in world you live. If you feel that you do not have a normal relationship with your husband, please pick up your courage. This is not normal behaviour from a husband. You have never lived with him, do not worry about divorce, it is not the best thing but it is much better than being in a bad marriage – a husband and his relatives – all of them are abusive- a particular case and that too in a far away place.

This time I hope you are confident enough to go forward with your plans. Just you and your child only want a shelter for the time being in Bangalore, if any neighbour friends for you then enquire about any one who can be helpful for the time being in Bangalore through them it is better before you leaving try to find the accommodation through some your friends/colleagues or neighbours here at your native place. Since all things you had been worked out and made up your mind then no one in earth can mis-guide you or prevent you from taking such steps. Give yourself a timeframe, a plan of action (to move out), You need to be bold and try to get help from your friends if any. You need to be strong and if you are confident about yourself things will work out. You have to start taking responsibility for your actions and be confident enough in it.

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Response from: Gaz ,   
Council Member on Ammas.com
If you are in the US the why not find an organisation there. There are many that will help you find what you are looking for and if you are in a green card issue then there are special visas that you can apply for as an abused wife of a greencard or potential greencard holder especially if your divorce has put your status out of sorts. You should have a very string case for one especially as your child is born there. I would also suggest that if you have not filed for a divorce you do so and obtain the support monetarily that you need and will get. Again the various organisations can help you obtain this.

There is a domestic help page for people in similar positions to your own and they can help you settle. Alternatively ask your friends for help as clearly your family are not being very helpful and they might be more forthcoming.

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Response from: harry ,   
Council Member on Ammas.com
HI, Really sad to know that your parents & siblings are not taking your side when you are in deep trouble. To make it short I have 1 suggestion, instead of staying in hotel you can look for some working women's hostel. That includes rent and board with no more than Rs. 2000/month per person. But I am not reallly sure if they allow with kids/infants. They might allow. One of my cousins used in live in such hostel in Hyderabad.

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