Courses offered by CEHAT

Three days Workshop on Health systems response to violence against women - 14th to 16th June 2022

Three days (14th to 16th June 2022) extensive workshop on health systems response to VAW with healthcare providers, one stop centers and NGOs from eight states of India

The workshop aimed to orient participants about violence and its impact on health, role of health systems in catering the need of survivors, required perspectives and skills to negotiate with healthcare providers to ensure care and protection for survivors of violence. Twenty-four participants enrolled in the workshop from 13 settings which included hospitals, one stop center, and NGOs. The workshop had diverse participants from staff nurses to counsellors to project manager which brought out discussion faced at micro to macro level in responding to VAW.

Day one of the workshop focused on concepts of gender, sex, patriarchy, intersectionality, and forms of violence to understand survivors’ position in the social matrix in responding to VAW. Participants on day one were explained about responsibilities of health sector while addressing survivors of violence as mandated by Domestic Violence Act 2005, Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012, and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013. The participatory sessions helped participants in understanding concepts, laws, role of health sector and stakeholders like protection officer, counsellors and social workers in cases of violence.

Sessions on day two of the workshop covered identifying signs and symptoms in cases of violence, legal status of medico-legal documentation for cases of domestic and sexual violence. Use of case studies helped participants in understanding applicability of concepts. A session on ‘exploring specific health effects of VAW in cases of attempted suicide’ focused on suicidal ideation and its effects on mental health. The last session of the day was on ‘Understanding pregnancy as a risk factor for women facing violence’ which covered importance of enquiring about violence during pregnancy, standards of care in counselling, and extending support to pregnant women. Group presentations by participants followed by discussions helped in acquiring clarity on medico legal documentation, issues of suicidal ideation and violence faced during pregnancy.

Day three had session on ‘Understanding challenges with access to MTP services’ in which the speaker spoke about MTP law, understanding causes for unwanted pregnancies among women and children, and barriers at different levels in accessing service. The session was well received as many participants deal with cases of unmarried pregnant survivors and face challenges in navigating process. The day also had visit of participants to Dilaasa centre at V.N. Desai hospital, Santacruz where a panel of Nodal officer (medical officer), Core team member (Senior medical officer), matron, staff nurse and Dilaasa counsellor shared their roles and responsibilities, achievements and challenges in taking VAW to work ahead in the health systems. The visit was essential to help participants gain insights into how crisis centre based in hospital are responding to violence.

The aim of the workshop was to carry forward the learnings which participants had gained in three days. Groups of hospital, OSC, and NGO presented their planning on responding to VAW and networking with organisations like CEHAT for effective delivery of services to survivors. Feedback for organising refresher workshops was given by participants that can help in their capacity building in reaching out to women and children facing violence.