Having worked with the health sector for 6 years, establishing a comprehensive health system response to sexual violence, which has produced evidence that the health system can indeed be sensitised to provide good services to survivors, CEHAT has been advocating for implementation of gender sensitive protocols across the health sector in India. As part of this effort, we have made submissions to various State governments Delhi Court as well as the Central Government and are part of a committee constituted by the Central Health Ministry to formulate such protocols for the entire nation. CEHAT’s effort has been to ensure that the protocols are comprehensive as well as gender sensitive, and that they give adequate attention to healing from trauma, facilitation of which is the main responsibility of the health system.
CEHAT has also made written and oral submissions to the Justice Verma Committee following the Nirbhaya Rape Case in Delhi in November 2012. The outcome of this engagement is the inclusion of the manual in the final report of the Commission in the chapter on Medico legal care, Annexure 6 on psychosocial support and Annexure 7 on guidelines for developing protocol. Submission of Justice Verma Commitee Report
We have also taken the legal route by filing an intervention application in the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, demanding implementation of gender sensitive protocols for responding to survivors of sexual violence, and ensuring their right to treatment. Nagpur PIL Updates
Media Advocacy Engagement with media on sexual violence and role of the health sector
After the 16th December 2012 incident in Delhi, the media has been consistently reporting on issues related to sexual assault. There has been consistent involvement on this front and our work has been covered by several newspapers- English and Marathi. While most of the media reporting was around gaps in various response systems to sexual assault, we attempted to focus on the good practice that CEHAT and the Municipal Corporation have been able to establish. We also tried to include concerns with setting up of services for healing and rehabilitation of survivors of sexual assault along with changes in the criminal justice system. NDTV, The Week, Hindu have covered specific articles on work of CEHAT. Links to key articles are given below: