Since 1999, Adv Amarnath 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, has pursued its casework efforts through a human rights framework. Cases brought to 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, our 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 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 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.
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 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 Casework & Legal Support programme include:
Case in-take and Legal advice
Fact-findings and Evidence collection
Direct legal interventions
Regular case follow-up
Family mediation and counselling services
Facilitate access to emergency shelter, social and medico-legal aid, counselling and other rehabilitative services
Legal counselling for organizations working on the right to choice and Violence Against Women
Technical support to advocacy and research initiatives