STRENGTHENING RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
This project is an initiative of iCALL, TISS in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It aims to deliver support and enhance the capacities of counselors and social workers at One Stop Crisis Centers, Special Cells, Family Counselling Centers, Protection Officers and those working with women survivors to provide psycho-social support to women and girls facing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic in the states of Rajasthan, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra.
Violence against women and girls, as defined by the United Nations, is any act that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual and/or mental harm and/or suffering of women including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. However, humanitarian crises and natural disasters see a universal spike in the numbers of this long-existing issue. In light of this, UNFPA has joined hands with iCALL, TISS to ensure that measures to address violence against women and girls are included in the COVID-19 response and recovery at country, regional and global levels, in line with the principle of leaving no one behind.
Informed by a participatory, empowerment- oriented approach, a series of trainings are being conducted guided by a curriculum that will be developed in collaboration with the participants, and their needs & concerns in light of the unique challenges they’re facing as first responders to the issue of violence against women and girls. This will serve as an important step towards building capacities of key services to improve quality of response.
- To help counselors and social workers providing psycho-social and legal counselling to women survivors of violence, develop a nuanced understanding of violence against women and the theoretical psychosocial concepts that underlie the phenomena.
- To provide them with an understanding of specific,strengths-based, psycho-socio-legal counselling techniques and processes and adapt them to the context of COVID-19.
- To build knowledge around laws pertaining to violence against women, its proceses & implementation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- To equip them with skills to navigate ethical dilemmas faced during VAW focused counselling.
- To build and enhance self care practises in the counsellors to address their own stressors & build resilience.
- To build curricula that serve as resources aiding an enhanced preparedness for violence counsellors post the COVID pandemic as well.
- To capture the experiences of counselors working with issues of domestic violence during/right after the COVID-19 pandemic in a methodical manner.
- To develop protocols concerning the different stages, processes, and key techniques/skills involved in responding to specific concerns..
Training participants: Participants from the training include counselors and social workers at
One Stop Crisis Centers, Special Cells, Protection Officers and those working with women survivors in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and Rajasthan.
Training Description: The training aims to build capacities of counselors and social workers at One Stop Crisis Centers, Special Cells, Family Counselling Centers, Protection Officers and those working with women survivors across the life span, to help them undertake psychosocial counseling addressing issues of violence against women and girls. The training is being delivered through webinars over the course of 6 months. We invite external experts as well as experts and counselors from iCALL to facilitate the training through presentations and educational videos concerning counselling skills and techniques. Each session ensures room for questions and answers at the end. Although the curriculum developed by us is comprehensive and holistic, feedback from the participants regarding specific areas of concern will be taken into account when tailoring subsequent sessions. This will ensure that women’s organizations and first responders participate in the process so that needs and concerns are identified and included in prevention of, and responses to violence against women and girls.
Webinar Thematic Areas
- Violence against Women
- Immediate Response Mechanisms
- Counselling Techniques and Strength Based Approaches for VAW
- Medico-legal Issues
- Best Practices and Protocols
- Ethically Sound Counseling for VAW
- Self Care
iCALL, TISS: iCALLis a field action project initiated by the School of Human Ecology, TISS, and is a national level technology assisted helpline service. iCALL provides counselling, support, information and referral to individuals in emotional and psychological distress over telephone, email, and chat. The service currently runs six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, from 10 AM to 8 PM. Apart from service provision, iCALL engages in various research, capacity building and outreach efforts independently and in partnership with State Governments and NGOs across the country.
UNFPA: The United Nations Population fund is the UN organisation focused on sexual and reproductive health agency. One of its key areas is to prevent and respond to gender-based violence through its work with policymakers and health systems. In collaboration with other UN partners, it is working to improve survivors’ access to quality services such as legal aid, health services and social services (psychosocial counselling, helplines).
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