August Issue 2011
Raahnuma: New Website Provides Help to Counter Abuse
A Site For a Cause
Nuzhat Kidvai has been a part of the women’s movement and been working for women’s rights in Pakistan for the past 25 years. It was her years of watching victims of abuse running to five different places to get help that inspired her to create something that could at one time cater to all queries regarding abuse. After six months of research, and through a small grant provided by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG3) and Take Back the Tech (TBTT), the website was made in collaboration with PeaceNiche to serve as a one-stop guide that provides help for victims of abuse as well as a resource to those who wish to help such victims. From what to do and from whom to seek help, Raahnuma.org provides information that not only raises awareness but may also help prevent abuse.
The site is divided into five main sections: Types of Abuse, Important Numbers, Getting Help, You’re not Alone and Laws. These are further divided into subsections. Providing statistics on abuse inflicted on women in Pakistan and around the world with detailed descriptions and information on the existing (and non-existing) laws against rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment at work, acid attack, ‘honour’ killings, trafficking, child marriages, swara and divorce, the site provides answers to most of our questions. It also has a step-by-step guide for survivors and different stories narrated by and of victims of abuse.
From emergency numbers of hospitals in Karachi, where one can get medical and sexual health aid, and CPLC centres, the site also carries detailed information on different NGOs that deal with such matters, women’s shelters and support groups.
Raahnuma.org is a fine example of using technology to tackle violence against women and creating a kind of support system. “I’m hoping that it will help people,” says Kidvai.