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Why would a woman set herself ablaze?

Pushed to the edge by her alcoholic husband, Yashodha did just that. Raised in a traditional family and married off at a young age, her husband’s alcoholism overwhelmed her. But she kept it all to herself – not wanting to trouble her parents.

Lonely, emotionally burdened and seeing no way out, Yashoda reached for the kerosene one day and set herself on fire.

The International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC) is all too familiar with such incidents. Even though the act may seem sudden and shocking, it is the tipping point of months and years of accumulated abuse, be it emotional or physical.

Nine out of 10 women that we meet tell us very clearly that domestic violence was the factor that pushed them towards it,” says Swetha Shankar, head of psychosocial programmes at PCVC. Founded in 2001, PCVC  helps rebuild lives that are affected by domestic abuse through programmes that help survivors build confidence.

According to India’s National Burns Programme, every year 91,000 women lose their lives due to burn injuries. Some of these cases are initially reported as accidents to hide the presence of domestic abuse, but a number of survivors eventually share the horrid truth after counseling and reassurance.

Even if an act isn’t physical, it can still be abusive – a key part of PCVC’s work is creating awareness of the many faces of domestic abuse.

PCVC has helped 4,500 burn survivors since 2006. The non-profit takes care of every essential detail like providing the hospitals caring for the women with clean disposable sheets and gowns, clean drinking water and health supplements.

Do you want to help and support PCVC, a non-profit organization, to offer burn care & rehabilitation services to women burn survivors? You can do it here.

A story by Our Better World – telling stories of good to inspire action.