This woman rescued 99 survivors of domestic violence during the pandemic
Iti Rawat, founder of the Red Dot Initiative, joins Levi’s #IShapeMyWorld campaign
“When women support women, incredible things happen”. Oscar winner Viola Davis may have coined this phrase, but it’s a mantra that entrepreneur Iti Rawat has long held as a personal belief.
And during the lockdown, it became her mission. Rawat launched the Red Dot Initiative, a fight against domestic abuse which has seen her rescue 99 women in the past year, and landed her among the 7 powerful women on Levi’s #IShapeMyWorld campaign.
The year-long digital initiative champions risk-taking, game-changing, rule-breaking women from diverse backgrounds and communities, connected by the fact that they are challenging what society expects from them, and shaping the world on their own terms.
The genesis of her initiative, Rawat explains, came from knowing that “a lot of businesses would face difficulties, we had to reach out to our women entrepreneurs. And what kept coming back to me were these two instances of domestic violence.”
Determined to give women a subtle means by which to ask for help, without alerting their abuser, she thought of a simple red dot on the palm of the hand. The response was instant, with videos and photos flooding in, prompting Rawat to swoop in to the rescue.
While she’s showered with accolades for her work, the social entrepreneur measures herself on different parameters. “For me success if not about having your name in the Forbes list or receiving an award or having a corner office, it’s more about how you make things possible for others.”