A follow up session for the participants of the TOT was organized on 2nd July 2016 in collaboration with Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). After the 9 day long TOT that was held in April-May, many participants had begun conducting sessions on VAW at their respective hospitals. The session aimed at presenting the work carried out at the hospitals and the challenges in smooth functioning of the Dilaasa centres. Resource persons for the workshop were Ms. Sujata Warrier and Ms. Shamita Das Dasgupta who have vast experience of working on the issue of violence against women in the United States of America.
The session began with a brief on history, meaning, extent, causes and various forms of Gender Based Violence. Participants were engaged in group work and reflective exercises. When asked to express their opinion on sexuality, they brought out various dimensions of gender discrimination. The importance of empathy was emphasized through the exercise ‘social to personal’ by reflecting on how it feels to lose three things that mean the most to the participant. One of the participants acknowledged that survivors are often offered advice without really understanding the gravity of the situation. But when changes apply to self, there is deeper realization of the loss.
On question of patriarchy which is caused by institution of marriage, the participants brought up the insistence of father’s name in school register. One of the participants brought to notice that gender based violence is considered a women’s issue and not social issue. The resource person acknowledged that social change takes time, but efforts of the strong women’s movement have paid off. She appreciated CEHAT’s role in engaging with survivors.
Some guiding principles to be practiced by healthcare providers were reiterated, such as assuring confidentiality, believing the survivor, conveying that violence is not her fault, ensuring safety, leaving scope for future disclosure and thorough documentation of medical records.
Better understanding of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) was facilitated by taking participants through the dynamics of CSA. Participants were engaged in a reflective activity to understand their own reactions to disclosure of such abuse. The resource person further explored difficulties in supporting the child in taking action when the abuser is a loved one. The exercise brought home the need for patience in facilitating disclosure of abuse.
The participants shared different ways in which they were spreading awareness on the issue of violence at their respective hospitals through dissemination of material and orientation sessions. The session motivated them to play a key role in their hospitals to ensure sensitive response to survivors of violence.