ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Padma Bhate-DeosthaliSubscribe to Padma Bhate-Deosthali

Responding to Sexual Violence

This paper is based on the results of establishing a comprehensive health-sector response to sexual violence. Eliminating existing forensic biases to rape and the neglect of healthcare needs of survivors, the model uses gender-sensitive protocol for medico-legal documentation of sexual violence, which focuses on informed consent, documentation of the nature of sexual violence, and collection of relevant forensic evidence. It uses standard treatment guidelines for the provision of treatment, and ensures psychosocial support to the survivor. The results indicate that a sensitive response by health professionals can play a crucial role in healing from sexual abuse.

Addressing Domestic Violence within Healthcare Settings

Women experiencing violence most often decide to seek legal action only after the violence has escalated and that too without having any documentary evidence. The Dilaasa crisis centres at two public hospitals in Mumbai since 2001 have been established out of the recognition that the public health system is an important site for the implementation of anti-domestic violence intervention programmes. The crisis centres therefore straddle both discourses of public health and gender. The paper offers critical insights into the model and its impact in terms of its ability to reach out to women who are undergoing abuse and offer them multiple services in one setting.
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