Since 1999, AALI has been intervening in cases of right to choice in relationships and violence against women. In line with the organization’s holistic approach toward addressing issues of particular concern to women, AALI has pursued its casework efforts through a human rights framework. Cases brought to AALI’s Casework & Legal Support team are strategically approached on an individual basis. In addition, the organization supports women who are unable to bear the financial cost of bringing their cases to court.
By designating its legal focus as encompassing the right to choice in relationship decision-making and violence against women, AALI’s Casework & Legal Support team handles a broad range of cases, including inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, honor-related crimes (including cases of acid attack), domestic violence from marital or natal family, forced marriages, child sexual abuse, custodial violence, and rape, among others. In adhering to the organization’s interpretation of the right to choice in relationships, in the past AALI has taken up a same-sex relationship case. Survivors are not turned away as a result of inability to bear any financial cost.
Fact-finding and legal support are critical components of AALI’s casework efforts, as they facilitate the social mediation process and provide key data for lobbying relevant stakeholders. Particularly with respect to honor-related crimes, child sexual abuse, and identity-based violence, fact-finding evidence collected by the Casework & Legal Support team helps to raise the profiles of these issues among media and governmental actors, especially when gauging the level of state response. Much of the data collected by the Casework & Legal Support team for advocacy purposes comes from case analysis and family court data.
AALI’s Casework & Legal Support team engages in outreach to enhance general legal awareness, in particular as pertains to the rights of women against violence and the right to choice in sexual relationships. In addition, it supports AALI’s advocacy efforts through the distribution of literature, as well as by holding public meetings, building rapport with human rights defenders and like minded organizations, and forming linkages with relevant governmental actors.
Key interventions by AALI’s Casework & Legal Support programme include:
To send AALI’s Casework and Legal Support team an e-mail, please click here.
Find laws combating all forms of sexual violence here.
Read more on laws related to domestic violence here and here.
Read more on the right to choice in relationship decision-making here.
Before I attended AALI’s trainings on human rights and law, whenever I visited the police station, I used to provide a written complaint to the officers unaware that merely submitting an application is not considered a FIR. Even though I did case work, I never had faith in the police as I got no relief. Then I learnt there is a standard process to lodge an FIR. A number is issued for instance and obtaining a free copy of the FIR is a legal right of the informant. Now when I do casework, I ensure that the complaint gets registered officially and we receive a copy of it. I also now ensure that whenever I visit the police station, it is always entered in the station’s “Visitor Register”, specially in cases where the police do not cooperate in filing a FIR as per her duty.