Maadhyam Women Support Centre

Thematic Focus

While Maadhyam addresses Gender based Violence in a comprehensive approach covering wide range of offences against women, it focuses on the following specific themes for systematically address offences that are detrimental and violation of women’s human right. It has identified the following issues as priority intervention area.

Domestic Violence: It takes in many forms : Physical, emotional, economic, and sexual as per the PWDV act of 2005.

Physical Abuse:

Physical abuse basically involves a person using physical force against you, which causes, or could cause, you harm.

Types of physical abuse

Physical abuse can involve any of the following violent acts:

  • scratching or biting
  • pushing or shoving
  • slapping
  • kicking
  • choking or strangling
  • throwing things
  • force feeding or denying you food
  • using weapons or objects that could hurt you
  • physically restraining you (such as pinning you against a wall, floor, bed, etc.)
  • reckless driving
  • other acts that hurt or threaten you.


Emotional/Psychological Abuse:

Emotional and psychological abuse are include mostly non-physical behaviors that the abuser uses to control, isolate, or frighten you. Often, the abuser uses it to break down your self-esteem and self-worth in order to create a psychological dependency on him/her. Emotional and psychological abuse are hard forms of abuse to recognize because the abuse is spread throughout your everyday interactions.

Signsof Emotional/Psychological Abuse:

  • humiliating you in front of others;
  • calling you insulting names, such as “stupid,” “disgusting,” or “worthless”;
  • getting angry in a way that is frightening to you;
  • threatening to hurt you, people you care about
  • saying things like, “If I can’t have you, then no one can;”
  • deciding things for you that you should decide, like what you wear or eat;
  • acting jealous, including constantly accusing you of cheating;
  • continually pretending to not to understand what you are saying, making you feel stupid, or refusing to listen to your thoughts and opinions;
  • questioning your memory of events or denying that an event happened the way you said it did, even when the abuser knows that you are right;
  • changing the subject whenever you try to start conversations with the abuser and others and questioning your thoughts in a way that makes you feel unworthy; and
  • making your needs or feelings seem unimportant or less important than those of the abuser

Economic abuse:

Economic abuse can include exerting control over income, spending, bank accounts, bills and borrowing. It can also include controlling access to and use of things like transport and technology, which allow us to work and stay connected, as well as property and daily essentials like food and clothing. It can include destroying items and refusing to contribute to household costs.

Identifying economic abuse

  • prevent you from being in education or employment
  • limit your working hours
  • take your pay
  • refuse to let you claim benefits
  • take children’s savings or birthday money
  • refuse to let you access a bank account  etc..

Sexual abuse

Under the PWDVA, sexual violence is considered to be a form of domestic violence. The act defines sexual violence as any conduct of a sexual nature that abuses, humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of a woman. It includes acts such as forced sexual intercourse, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and any other acts of a sexual nature.

Physical Signs

These are some physical signs that could indicate a problem, including the possibility of sexual abuse:

  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Soiling or wetting clothes, or bedwetting (or an increase, if it happens already)
  • Stomachaches
  • Physical pain or itching in the genital area
  • Underwear stained with blood or other discharge
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Problems walking or sitting