Caseworker's Dictionary of Violence

What is the Caseworker’s Dictionary?

The Caseworker’s Dictionary of Violence introduces a vocabulary around gender-based violence (GBV) that emerges from the grassroots, from those at the frontlines, within a deeply Indian context.

The lexicographers for this dictionary are from Lalitpur, Lucknow, and Banda, with days, nights and decades of working cases that may have disappeared from history, if it wasn’t for them.

The 12 case workers who have co-authored this Dictionary, intervene in situations of murder, rape, abduction, child sexual abuse, dowry deaths and domestic violence. The caseworkers have emerged from the communities they work with, and have experienced violence in their own lives. They have learnt to be caseworkers by showing up, by doing, and by the occasional legal training and input.

The Dictionary will periodically publish one pivotal word and open up the multiple and contested meanings it has acquired in the field. The writings, videos and podcasts reveal something new about power, decision making and social relations and open up complex questions of agency and justice.

The Dictionary is open source, and going forward hopes to be populated by words in multiple languages by case workers in multiple regions and contexts.

Dictionary of Violence Word cloud
Browse The Dictionary of Violence

Meet the Caseworkers

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Meena Devi
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Pushpa Devi
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Hameeda Khatoon
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Shabina Mumtaz
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Rajkumari Prajapati
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