Courses offered by CEHAT

National Course on Violence against women and role of health care providers from January 13-21, 2009

CEHAT is announcing the 3rd National Course on “Violence against women and role of health care providers (HCP's)”. The course is designed to provide participants an understanding on Violence Against Women (VAW) as a health and human rights issue and train them to respond to specific needs of victims of violence. Doctors, Nurses, Researchers, Health activists, are encouraged to participate.


Violence results in physical and psychosocial trauma that severely affects the health of the victim. Treating injuries caused by violence, collecting medical evidence in cases of sexual assault/burns or conducting autopsy are the services that the health professionals routinely provide to the victims. Despite this the medical and nursing education does not emphasise on violence as a health issue. The medico legal documentation of domestic violence, rapes, suicides, homicides, deaths in police custody, caste or communal violence is not properly done. One of the main reasons for this is that health professionals are not trained to investigate violence and respond to specific needs of victims.

A dedicated struggle by the women’s movement has resulted in a growing awareness around different forms of violence faced by women within the private and the public domain. Several support groups, counseling centres have been set up both by autonomous women’s groups and the state. Several changes have been made in existing laws. However, there have been inadequate efforts to engage with the health professionals to train them in providing the necessary support to victims. Often they are the first contact for any victim of violence. Even before a woman takes the decision to register a complaint or seek help from a counselling/support group, she seeks treatment for trauma caused by violence. It is important to note that ill health or disclosure of certain health problems too can lead to violence against women. It is therefore imperative that health professionals be trained adequately to understand the complex linkages between violence and health and their role in caring for victims.

CEHAT has been addressing issues of right to health and health care to all as well as preventing violence, and caring for survivors. CEHAT’s work on violence has addressed issues of violence against women (domestic violence, sex determination and sex selection and sexual assault); violence against children (investigation into conditions of juvenile homes), violence by state agencies (investigation of torture, police custody deaths and atrocities by police) and caste and communal violence through research, documentation and training.

CEHAT’s experience of training health professionals on violence against women through the Dilaasa's initiative underscores the need for such training which provides information, trains in skills and also changes perceptions and attitudes. The curriculum for this training has evolved after a needs assessment done at the hospital and there has been a high degree of participation of health professionals in identifying areas for training. This training has lead to an increased understanding about VAW amongst the staff and motivated/prompted them to become trainers themselves and take responsibility of sensitising their own colleagues. The gradual increase in number of women being referred for counselling from different departments of the hospital indicates that training and monitoring definitely helps hospital staff to recognize signs and symptoms of violence faced by women. At present, counselling services too are being provided by trained hospital staff in two municipal hospitals and training of staff is underway in five hospitals. The Municipal Corporation is committed to set up a training cell in order to institutionalise the sensitisation and training programmes.


  • Understand violence as a public health and human rights issue.
  • Understand discrimination based on caste, class, community and gender, its root causes.
  • Reflect on different forms of violence and its causes.
  • Understand the health consequences of VAW.
  • Identify the role of health professionals in dealing with victims of violence from a public health and ethics perspective.
  • Build specific skills required to communicate with victims of violence.
  • Understand the need of inter-sectoral coordination like, legal, police, shelter and other organisations.

The pedagogy… The pedagogy of the course will be participatory with a combination of lectures, group work, group discussions, case studies, role plays, individual exercises and sharing, film screening, panel selection and sexual assault); violence against children (investigation into conditions of juvenile homes), violence by state agencies (investigation of torture, police custody deaths and atrocities by police) and caste and communal violence through research, documentation and training.

Core Faculty

Aruna Burte, MA in English, Founder Member of Women’s Centre, Mumbai and Forum Against Oppression of Women. Worked on women’s issues for more than three decades, secularism and anti-communalism. Currently in Solapur and working with Disha as consultant (a consciousness raising group on women and girls’ issues)

Manisha Gupte, Masters in Microbiology. She is a leading spokesperson at national level women’s rights and health issues. A founder trustee of MASUM, a grassroots-level women centered development organisation based in Pune. She was the Convenor of the International Women and Health Meeting held in India in 2005.

Dr. Amar Jesani, Graduate in medicine. Has been involved for almost two decades in social sciences health research, with experience in trade unions, working class and human rights association. He was the founder Coordinator of CEHAT from 1994-1999, also was the Coordinator of Centre for Studies in Ethics and Rights in Mumbai.

Renu Khanna, MBA, is a Feminist Health Activist and Founder Trustee of SAHAJ - Society for Health Alternatives. She has over 25 years experience in health care management and in training various levels of health care and social development professionals and paraprofessionals. She is well versed in participatory and action research. She has co-edited and coordinated the publication of several books.

Dr. Seema Malik, D.G.O; D.H.A; D.G.D.M.L.S. Having experience of Hospital Administration for last 25 years, she is presently a Chief Medical Superintendent of 16 peripheral hospitals of Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation, project director of Dilaasa and is a trainer for capacity building of women municipal counsellors in All India Institute of Local Self Government.

Medium Of the course: Englsih, Hindi

Registration fee: Rs. 5000/- The cost of food and accommodation will be borne by us. Travelling expenses have to be borne by participants. In case of any financial constraints, do write to us as we could offer some fellowships.

Deadline for submission of application: 31st December 2008

Venue: Y.M.C.A. International, 18, YMCA Road, Mumbai Central, Mumbai - 400008.

Course Coordinator : Padma Deosthali, Masters in Social Work, worked on gender, violence and health. Currently the Coordinator of CEHAT.

The completed application form properly endorsed by the applicant’s institution, should be sent to:

Pehel, CEHAT's research and training initiative on VAW
Flat No. 203, Second Floor
Churchview Co-operative Society Ltd.
St. Anthony's Street, Vakola
Santacruz (East), Mumbai 400 055
Telefax: 022-26661690