CEHAT conducted a one day training programme on 29th March 2015 at Bhopal. There were 32 participants from a non-governmental organization of Madhya Pradesh named Jan sahas. The participants were lawyers and social workers with experience on the issue of violence and atrocity. Most of the lawyers were defense lawyers who argue for the accused in the court and this training would provide them a different perspective.
The objective of the course was to equip participants with an understanding of laws related to sexual assault and international guidelines, principles of informed consent, medico-legal documentation, myths and facts about rape, examination and evidence collection, formulation of medical opinion, and deposition in court by a medical expert.
Myths and facts about rape worked as ice breakers and provided opportunity for discussion and debate. Participants shared various examples of cases they had intervened in and the challenges they encountered. The training offered participant’s greater understanding of the law, its interpretation and application to their work.
Participants gave feedback that the training helped them understand and critically analyze their own role as a defense lawyer and an activist on field. They learnt several aspects which they need to consider while studying the case, presenting it in the court or during court arguments. Field activists also learnt about various aspects to keep in mind while interfacing with other agencies such as health professionals, police and judiciary. This training helped them to reflect on what they would do differently when they go back.