Nimhans centre to help victims of rape, molestation

The counselling centre will open its door to women on October 10.

Sexual assault leaves many a scar on the victim's mind. And the social stigma just adds to the psychological trauma.

Now, help is at hand for all those who are afraid of speaking up. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) is all set to launch a centre dedicated to the victims of sexual assault and molestation. Women can seek counselling from the centre starting this October.

The centre is being established with a promise of providing women with an escape from hospitals where they are at a fear of being judged, and an assurance of confidentiality.

The centre, located at the Nimhans Centre for Well-being at BTM Layout, will open its door to women in distress on October 10, on the occasion of World Mental Health day.

Dr Prabha Chandra, professor, Department of Psychiatry, Nimhans, said, “Women can approach us without any inhibitions. They need not approach the police or lodge a complaint to reach out to us. This way, we are making space for more women to open up.” She was speaking to DH on the sidelines of a seminar ‘Why has rape and sexual molestation become a culture today and what steps need to be taken to end this culture?’

The Institute of National Importance has a functional trauma recovery clinic. However, this sees very few women. “We get various kinds of cases. The clinic is attached to the hospital. However, with a rise in such incidents, we found that there is a need to have a dedicated centre for women. Hence the idea,” she said.

Dr Chandra said that many women approach them after the problem has manifested into a more complex issue.

“Not all reach out for counselling immediately. Something as small as having to undergo a physical examination after a rape could leave a woman traumatised. Just the doctor asking her to expose her body post the incident could leave an impression in her mind. Issues at such basic levels also need to be addressed,” she said.

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