The percentage of women beaten in Tamil Nadu was 40.4% compared with the national average of 21%. 72% of women justified assault by their husband for various reasons, indicating a high degree of helplessness and self-deprecation. Unfortunately there are not sufficient psychological and legal counseling services to counteract these feelings of helplessness, leading to a devastating rate of suicides in the Vanur block. Suicide rates in Villupuram district in the years of 1997-98 showed that suicides in rural areas were nearly 9% of all deaths.These rates were five times the national average and were even worse for females aged 15-24 years where 48.9% of deaths were from suicides. Amongst AVAG’s beneficiaries an average of five women each year commit suicide, with just as many unsuccessful attempts.
We aim to protect and support the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health of all individuals, so that they may best participate in their own self-empowerment, and in the betterment of the community.
We provide unconditional emotional, psychological, and mental support to individuals and access to counsel for victims of human rights abuses.
In addition a series of Energy healing workshops,Addiction Awareness, Self-Analysis workshops were conducted to train the AVAG staff and Federation members in healing practices.
Some months ago, my daughter’s husband died because of alcohol. Before that happened, he drank every day. For 10 years, my daughter had to cope with this situation. Sometimes, her husband didn’t go to work because he was drunk. And when he earned money, he wanted to spend all of it for drinking and my daughter hed to begg him to give some for the household. Now she and her 2 children live in my house. But because she is a widdow, there is always a money problem. Sometimes I see the kids in our neighbour’s house playing with a ball and I feel so sorry that we can’t buy such things for our children, it really makes me cry sometimes.
Somatic Experiencing techniques give beneficiaries basic tools for dealing with
stress, anxiety, and even trauma. Staff and SHG leaders are trained in rudimentary principals to perform initial interventions with beneficiaries in crisis.
We partnered with Lotus Circle International, a San Francisco group to provide Somatic Experiencing trainings and counseling sessions for staff and beneficiaries.
The Lotus Circle team travels to Auroville twice a year to volunteer their expertise.
Story of Hope
Before I did the Somatic Experiencing workshop, I had so much tension and worries that it made me cry sometimes. But then I learned all these techniques of harmonising my feelings like orienting, focusing on my heartbeat or the beauty of nature.
Now, when I feel that my tension is increasing I practise these things and manage to relax and come back to normal.
I am very happy to be in the self help group because only this makes it possible for me to get outside exposure and learn so many things about my body system and my own resources.