In a historic case out of northern India, 49 young women have been awarded compensation at the end of a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against a homeless shelter that once housed them, as well as the state welfare department. According to the dozens of women, staff members of the homeless shelter in the Mazuaffarpur and state welfare officials routinely sexually, physically, and emotionally abused them. The incident was revealed in a 2018 audit of the shelter, which triggered a public outcry, numerous arrests, and, ultimately, 19 convictions.
Each woman has been awarded up to about 900,000 rupees or $12,000. Although this amount is drastically lower than one might expect to see awarded to a sexual assault survivor in the States, it is the most awarded so far in India. The case also had the most plaintiffs to date.
The case is being heralded as groundbreaking in India for its scope and the investigative and judicial efforts that went into punishing the perpetrators. For years, the country has been criticized for rampant sexual violence and domestic abuse that often goes completely unaddressed. Protests for change have swelled in recent years. The outcome of this sex abuse case is seen as a stepping-stone that can be used to start the country’s criminal justice system in the right direction.
At The Russell Friedman Law Group, our hearts go out to the survivors of such horrible acts in the homeless shelter for young women in India. Here in New York, our legal team routinely represents men and women who have been sexually abused, often when they were much younger, and now want to seek justice. We know that what those young women in India did was courageous, and we applaud them for their bravery. We show appreciation to everyone who stood by them, too, and who are working to end sexual violence across the country.
If you need the compassionate legal guidance of an experienced sexual abuse attorney in New York, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, or New Hampshire, please contact our firm online. We are here to help and listen to you.