CEHAT and TISS are pleased to announce its 1st National course on Responding to Violence against women: Feminist Counselling. The course is aimed at building a critical feminist perspective on the issue of violence against women and enhancing skills of the participants in responding to survivors of violence.
Feminist counselling as a method of responding to violence against women has been considered the most effective method as it equips women to question oppression and builds their capacity to deal with their distress. It goes beyond the individual and helps women connect to the outside world and negotiate their space within it. It was the women’s movement in India that brought forth not just the issue of Violence against women in India but also the feminist perspective in responding to this issue.
CEHAT has addressed the issue of Violence and health for more than a decade. One of its endeavors has been the joint initiative of CEHAT and MCGM, namely Dilaasa a hospital based department to respond to women reporting Domestic violence. Dilaasa provides women with psycho social support, temporary shelter facilities, and free legal as well as medical aid. While setting a feminist counselling model at Dilaasa, we drew heavily from the values and principles used by the women’s movement, but realised that there was a dearth of Indian literature pertaining to feminist counselling skills adopted to respond to individual women. It took us an entire year to design a feminist counselling model. It has been 10 years since then.
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences was established in 1936, as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. Since then, it has strived to continually respond to changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge, towards creating a people-centered ecologically sustainable and just society that promotes and protects dignity, equality, social justice and human rights for all. TISS has been engaging with the issue of violence against women for over 25 years now. Several of the current courses address women’s issues and issues of counselling women from a feminist perspective. The faculty in the School of Social work engages with the field realities concerning women through the ‘field action projects’.
We realize that there are several professionals responding to women facing violence but are not aware of “Feminist counselling” as a methodology / discipline of counselling. The PWDVA (Protection of women from Domestic violence Act 2005) too has paved way for several counsellors / Protection officers under this law to provide counselling to survivors of Domestic violence. Thus, seeing the vision and aim of academic rigor and field engagement with the issue of violence against women by CEHAT and TISS, it was decided to jointly launch the course on feminist counselling.
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