An orientation training on violence against women (VAW) was conducted by CEHAT for health care providers at Nongpoh Civil Hospital, Ri-Bhoi District, Meghalaya on the 9th and 10th of June 2022 in collaboration with North East Network (NEN). Sixty-two health care providers recruited for training consisted of doctors, nurses, counsellors, psychologist, physiotherapist, radiology technicians, lab technicians and outreach workers. The training conducted in two batches of 31 participants each was the first step towards creating awareness on violence against women among health care providers within the hospital.
The training commenced with a session on ‘Awareness on VAW’ by Darylin Syeim an expert on VAW in the North East region. To set the context the speaker initiated with a short exercise with participants to note down experience of violence participants faced or witnessed. The participants spoke about various forms of violence witnessed from sexual harassment in public places to discrimination faced by students from North East in other parts of the country. The session gave an overview to enable understanding on basic concepts of VAW, its prevalence, types of violence and consequences of violence on health of the woman.
This was followed by a session on ‘Role of Health care providers in responding to VAW’ by Diana Thomas from CEHAT. The session introduced the importance of VAW as a public health issue emphasizing the role of health care providers in clinical enquiry and identification of violence. A video on role of health care providers by WHO spelt out the important role of health systems in VAW. A group discussion on Myths and Facts regarding VAW was conducted. The participants were introduced to the Protection of Women Against Domestic Violence Act 2005 and the legal mandate to health care providers within the Act. The session proceeded to introduce signs and symptoms of violence against women and children and the health consequences of violence. Direct and Indirect questioning techniques to inquire about VAW were demonstrated to the participants in the session.
The team from One Stop Crisis Centre Ri-Bhoi briefly introduced their services offered in the region and encouraged health care providers to identify, provide first line support and refer cases requiring further help to OSC.
Mrudula Sawant, an expert counsellor working with Dilaasa department in public hospital at Mumbai for decades conducted a session on ‘Health care provider’s response to VAW’. Each aspect of WHO’s LIVES-Listen, Inquire, Validate, Enhance Support and Safety and its application in their routine clinical practice was taught to the participants in the session. Case study as group activities were given to the participants to enable them to include LIVES approach in their routine clinical practice and outreach activities. This enabled them to gain clarity on applying LIVES in various clinical scenarios. The participants were shown a role play on how to offer LIVES as a video. The participants were finally introduced to the various components of the format of documenting VAW cases. The registers provided across various departments of the Nongpoh Civil hospital to document details of survivors of violence identified and the line of support provided to them was introduced to the group.
The orientation training was very well received by the participants. Towards the end of the trainings, participants communicated gaining insights on the importance of VAW as a public health issue, basic legal mandates within PWDV Act 2005, role of health care providers in VAW and providing first line of support through LIVES.