The counseling wing for women in the Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS) has had a lukewarm response since its opening.
By Hansy Sanctis
Bengaluru, April 11, 2019
The spike in rape and sexual molestation cases towards women, led to NIMHANS deciding to establish a wing for their counseling and care. This section is a part of the center known as the ‘NIMHANS Centre for Well Being’ (NCWB), and it is located in BTM Layout. Launched on October 10, 2018, the annex’s agenda was to help these victims overcome their trauma and depression.
Professor Prabha S Chandra, one of the facilitators at the center, said that the section has been receiving a lukewarm response because initially, it is difficult for victims to open up to professionals for counseling. She emphasized how the help for the victims begins at home, with their families. But the main issue here is that the stigma around such cases for the victims is so high that it’s difficult to explain to the family that the victim was not the cause.
Professor Swathi Vinod is a psychologist and part of the teaching faculty at Mount Carmel College. She says “Dowry crimes, rape cases, molestation, marital abuse are all very predominant social evils. I hope that, as we progress further as a nation, people realize the repercussions of these crimes.
The cases in a few categories have decreased over the past few years but it is still extremely prevalent in the rural parts of Karnataka and in some places in Bangalore as well. The amount of mental effect these crimes have on their victims is unfathomable.”
Ms. Nagarathnamma, an advocate specializing in dowry and other women-related issues, says that the women-related crime rates are on a rise because the oppressors are usually more dominant than the victims and most of the time, they are related as well.
There are other kinds of family, social, or women-related violence, which is fuelled by ego and patriarchy and that is really difficult for the victim to report. She says that once the matter reaches the court, the accused and the victim both get a good reality check by the law and sometimes, it leads to withdrawal of cases.
Professor Sophia Sharon, sociologist and part of the sociology department in Mount Carmel College says that “Maybe rape, molestation or other women-oriented cases are increasing in Bangalore. Of course, it is because of the way our society functions. Women don’t like to be cornered and eve-teased. They are usually not supported by anybody when such things happen. It definitely has a great impact on their surroundings.
Some of the victims even blame themselves for it. On the other side, I mean, it’s just increasing today because of the ignorance of the government and the nation and also, the innocence of women, whose voices are not being particularly heard.”
A victim present at the center spoke to The Softcopy requesting to be kept anonymous. She said that it was difficult for her to open up about her own case, especially because they ask in details and they are not personally related so she always wondered as to whether she would be able to tell them completely about it. Telling parents as well was another difficult task that she had to carry out, but after a lot of hesitance, she managed to do so.
The phone helpline for this wing is 080-26685948 / 9480829670 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.